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A good helper -rice seed image identification system to seed testing
We can always see these nam es “Taikong 9, Tainung 71, taro Taoyuan 3, indica rice, etc.” printed on packages when we go into markets to buy rice. These names represent the different vari eties of rice which have different flavors and need to be cooked by varied methods. TSIPS (Taiwan Seed Improvement and Propagation Station) establishes a varied rice seed image identification system in order to rapidly analyzing rice seed purity.
Rice, which is the major food crop in Taiwan, is cultivated on an average of ca. 250,000 hectares per year. In recent years, many incidents related to mixed situation of domestic rice varieties exposed the poor quality of rice goods which endangered rights and interests of farmers and consumers. These incidents show the importance of maintaining the purity of rice varieties. Because there are many different rice cultivars domestically, the government has established rice seed multiplication and certification system in which rice seeds are divided into three classes including foundation seed, stock seed and extension seed. This system effectively helps maintain rice quality and avoid the mixed situation of rice varieties.
TSIPS plays an important role in rice seed multiplication and certification system, and its major duty is carrying out the seed testing that contains both field inspection and laboratory testing including moisture content determining, purity analysis and germination test according to the "Directions for crop seed and seedling testing" and "International Rules for seed testing".
Especially in purity analysis, it is difficult to identify the seeds of other rice varieties from the target variety because of their similar looking. Therefore, when the trained inspectors can only rely on their naked eyes to identify the seeds, they often spend considerable time and manpower. TSIPS has built a rice seed image identification system since 2014. The functions of this system include automatic inputting, counting, image capturing, outputting and database building. TSIPS said that the system aims to establish a rapider and more accurate procedure for seed purity analysis, and the efficiency of seed testing will be enhanced more than 30%.
Figure 1. The appearance of rice seeds of varied varieties in Taiwan