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Title: Multivariate data analysis for embedded sensor networks within the perishable goods supply chain
Author: Doan, Xuan Tien
ISNI:       0000 0004 2698 6584
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2011
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This study was aimed at exploring data analysis techniques for generating accurate estimates of the loss in quality of fresh fruits, vegetables and cut flowers in chilled supply chains based on data from advanced sensors. It was motivated by the recent interest in the application of advanced sensors, by emerging concepts in quality controlled logistics, and by the desire to minimise quality losses during transport and storage of the produce. Cut roses were used in this work although the findings will also be applicable to other produce. The literature has reported that whilst temperature was considered to be the most critical post-harvest factor, others such as growing conditions could also be important in the senescence of cut roses. Kinetic modelling was the most commonly used modelling approach for shelf life predictions of foods and perishable produce, but not for estimating vase life (VL) of cut flowers, and so this was explored in this work along with multiple linear regression (MLR) and partial least squares (PLS). As the senescence of cut roses is not fully understood, kinetic modelling could not be implemented directly. Consequently, a novel technique, called Kinetic Linear System (KLS), was developed based on kinetic modelling principles. Simulation studies of shelf life predictions for tomatoes, mushrooms, seasoned soybean sprouts, cooked shrimps and other seafood products showed that the KLS models could effectively replace the kinetic ones. With respect to VL predictions KLS, PLS and MLR were investigated for data analysis from an in-house experiment with cut roses from Cookes Rose Farm (Jersey). The analysis concluded that when the initial and final VLs were available for model calibration, effective estimates of the post-harvest loss in VL of cut roses could be obtained using the post-harvest temperature. Otherwise, when the initial VLs were not available, such effective estimates could not be obtained. Moreover, pre-harvest conditions were shown to correlate with the VL loss but the correlation was too weak to produce or improve an effective estimate of the loss. The results showed that KLS performance was the best while PLS one could be acceptable; but MLR performance was not adequate. In another experiment, boxes of cut roses were transported from a Kenyan farm to a UK distribution centre. Using KLS and PLS techniques, the analysis showed that the growing temperature could be used to obtain effective estimates of the VLs at the farm, at the distribution centre and also the in-transit loss. Further, using post-harvest temperature would lead to a smaller error for the VL at the distribution centre and the VL loss. Nevertheless, the estimates of the VL loss may not be useful practically due to the excessive relative prediction error. Overall, although PLS had a slightly smaller prediction error, KLS worked effectively in many cases where PLS failed, it could handle constraints while PLS could not.In conclusion, KLS and PLS can be used to generate effective estimates of the post-harvest VL loss of cut roses based on post-harvest temperature stresses recorded by advanced sensors. However, the estimates may not be useful practically due to significant relative errors. Alternatively, pre-harvest temperature could be used although it may lead to slightly higher errors. Although PLS had slightly smaller errors KLS was more robust and flexible. Further work is recommended in the objective evaluations of product quality, alternative non-linear techniques and dynamic decision support system.
Supervisor: Grieve, Bruce ; Goodacre, Roy Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: multivariate data analysis, kinetic modelling ; shelf life prediction, vase life prediction, post-harvest loss ; perishable produce, cut flowers, cut roses ; RFID, data loggers, advanced sensors