Multi-source domain adaptation for quality control in retail food packaging

Mamatha Thota, Stefanos Kollias, Mark Swainson, Georgios Leontidis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


Retail food packaging contains information which informs choice and can be vital to consumer health, including product name, ingredients list, nutritional information, allergens, preparation guidelines, pack weight, storage and shelf life information (use-by / best before dates). The presence and accuracy of such information is critical to ensure a detailed understanding of the product and to reduce the potential for health risks. Consequently, erroneous or illegible labeling has the potential to be highly detrimental to consumers and many other stakeholders in the supply chain. In practice, due to the high volume of food packages that go through the supply chain, mistakes do occur therefore good quality of images are needed to verify the correctness of the information. In this paper, a multi-source deep learning-based domain adaptation system is proposed and tested to identify and verify the presence and legibility of use-by date information from food packaging photos taken as part of the validation process as the products pass along the food production line. This was achieved by improving the generalization of the techniques via incorporating new loss functions and
making use of multi-source datasets in order to extract domain-invariant representations for all domains and aligning distribution of all pairs of source and target domains in a common feature space, along with the class boundaries. The proposed system performed very well in the conducted experiments, for automating the verification process and reducing labeling errors that could otherwise threaten public health and contravene legal requirements for food packaging information and accuracy. Comprehensive experiments on our food
packaging datasets demonstrate that the proposed multi-source deep domain adaptation method significantly improves the classification accuracy and therefore has great potential for application and beneficial impact in food manufacturing control systems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103293
Number of pages8
JournalComputers in Industry
Early online date16 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Deep Learning
  • Convolutional Neural Network
  • Mutli-source domain adaptation
  • Optical Character Verification
  • Retail food packaging
  • Deep learning
  • Multi-source domain adaptation
  • Optical character verification
  • Convolutional neural networks


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