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Seed Purity

What Is Physical Seed Purity?

What is physical purity? Seed purity test analyses and classifies the composition of a seed sample. When performed, all species of seed and all types of intert matter present should be identified.

Phyiscal purity testing is regulated by the International Seed Testing Association’s (ISTA) rules.

Physical purity testing quantifies the weight percentages in a seed lot of:

• Pure Seed
• Other crop seeds
• Weed seeds
• Inert matter

Applications of Purity Imaging

While physical purity imaging is not the same as physical purity testing then it quantifies similar properties of a seed lot in order to:


Work as an aid in ISTA regulated physical purity testing.


Estimate physical purity in unregulated seed analysis.


Optimize seed processing by choosing the right kind of processing equipment, adjust the equipment and predict the yield of a given seed lot.


Integrate physical purity tests with destructive tests where a fraction of the pure seeds are needed e.g. germination tests, vigor tests, and seed health tests. The sampling of pure seeds may be done by robot picking.

Advantages of Purity Imaging

Physical purity imaging can in principle measure samples in a similar way to physical purity testing. From an industry and cost point of view there are, however, important advantages to harvest from this new non-contact sensing technology if we:


Measure number percentages instead of weight percentages.

Number percentages are already used in other parts of seed testing like germination, vigor, and seed health testing and may make sense for physical purity as well. Optical weight estimates are also possible based on size (area, volume) and a density assumption for each fraction.


Measure on one side of the seed only.

This will make the mechanical presentation of seeds much easier, and will allow larger seed samples to be handled more robustly. Larger sample sizes will reduce the sampling variation and balance the loss of information in one-sided analysis.

What is Genetic Seed Purity?

What is genetic purity? Genetic purity refers to how genetically pure a seed sample is in terms of seed variety or species and how true the phenotype is to its mother at all stages of reproduction.

Genetic purity is used to maintain a variety from generation to generation, and in the management of genetic resources e.g. in genebanks.

Some applications of genetic purity imaging with Videometer technology are shown in:

1. A virtual seed file: the use of multispectral image analysis in the management of genebank seed accessions. 

2. Non-destructive discrimination of conventional and glyphosate-resistant soybean seeds and their hybrid descendants using multispectral imaging and chemometric methods. 

Seeds automatically segmented and sorted

The Leading Seed Imaging Instrument

VideometerLab is a spectral imaging instrument that combines spectroscopy, imaging, and machine learning into a very strong analysis technology that is rapid, non-destructive and versatile. Further, the VideometerLab has been used and optimized for seed imaging over the last decades, and there is a vast amount of seed specific scientific literature. VideometerLab can analyze a sample in two ways:



Petri dish up to 90 mm diameter, analysis time is 10-20 seconds per sample.



An autofeeder option allows to feed a larger seed sample on to a conveyor belt that automatically brings the sample to the instrument, analysis time for e.g. corn is 4-5 minutes for 300 gram.

Versatile Measurements

The VideometerLab can provide a very versatile measurement in the same workflow.

VideometerLab can work with a local database or a cloud database of virtual seeds in order to have an effective way to store phenotypes and phenotypic variation within each crop.

• Physical purity
• Thousand Seed Weight (TSW)
• Insect damage
• Screen size of pure seeds
• Molds and other pathogens
• Mechanical damage
• Phenotypic traits on pure seed fraction

Contact us

Contact us for further information on Seed Imaging: