Color measurement in L*a*b* units from RGB digital images

León K.; Mery, D; Pedreschi, F.; León J.


The superficial appearance and color of food are the first parameters of quality evaluated by consumers, and are thus critical factors for acceptance of the food item by the consumer. Although there are different color spaces, the most used of these in the measuring of color in food is the L*a*b* color space due to the uniform distribution of colors, and because it is very close to human perception of color. In order to carry out a digital image analysis in food, it is necessary to know the color measure of each pixel on the surface of the food item. However, there are at present no commercial L*a*b* color measures in pixels available because the existing commercial colorimeters generally measure small, non-representative areas of a few square centimeters. Given that RGB digital cameras obtain information in pixels, this article presents a computational solution that allows the obtaining of digital images in L*a*b* color units for each pixel of the digital RGB image. This investigation presents five models for the RGB → L*a*b* conversion and these are: linear, quadratic, gamma, direct, and neural network. Additionally, a method is suggested for estimating the parameters of the models based on a minimization of the mean absolute error between the color measurements obtained by the models, and by a commercial colorimeter for uniform and homogenous surfaces. In the evaluation of the performance of the models, the neural network model stands out with an error of only 0.93%. On the basis of the construction of these models, it is possible to find a L*a*b* color measuring system that is appropriate for an accurate, exacting and detailed characterization of a food item, thus improving quality control and providing a highly useful tool for the food industry based on a color digital camera. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Título según WOS: Color measurement in L*a*b* units from RGB digital images
Título según SCOPUS: Color measurement in L*a*b* units from RGB digital images
Volumen: 39
Número: 10
Editorial: Elsevier
Fecha de publicación: 2006
Página de inicio: 1084
Página final: 1091
Idioma: English