Computed tomography, an imaging technique commonly used for diagnosing internal human health ailments, uses multiple x-rays and sophisticated software to recreate a cross-sectional representation of a subject. The use of this technique to image hard red winter wheat, Triticum aestivm L., samples infested with pupae of Sitophilus oryzae (L.) was investigated. A software program was developed to rapidly recognize and quantify the infested kernels. Samples were imaged in a 7.6-cm (o.d.) plastic tube containing 0, 50, or 100 infested kernels per kg of wheat. Interkernel spaces were filled with corn oil so as to increase the contrast between voids inside kernels and voids among kernels. Automated image processing, using a custom C language software program, was conducted separately on each 100 g portion of the prepared samples. The average detection accuracy in the five infested kernels per 100-g samples was 94.4 ± 7.3% (mean ± SD, n = 10), whereas the average detection accuracy in the 10 infested kernels per 100-g sample was 87.3 ± 7.9% (n = 10). Detection accuracy in the 10 infested kernels per 100-g samples was slightly less than the five infested kernels per 100-g samples because of some infested kernels overlapping with each other or air bubbles in the oil. A mean of 1.2 ± 0.9 (n = 10) bubbles (per tube) was incorrectly classed as infested kernels in replicates containing no infested kernels. In light of these positive results, future studies should be conducted using additional grains, insect species, and life stages.
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Vol. 99 • No. 2