As consumers, we expect the chicken meat we buy to be tender and juicy. However, the poultry industry has been facing a problem with a chicken breast defect known as "woody breast." This defect affects up to 20% of chicken breast meat, resulting in a decrease in customer satisfaction and a $200 million loss in premium yield for the industry each year.
Fortunately, a team of scientists at the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station has been working on a solution to this problem using hyperspectral imaging technology. This non-invasive sensing technique combines a near-infrared sensor with a high-definition color camera to capture physical and chemical information. The goal is to detect woody breasts with high accuracy and speed, thereby improving poultry processing automation.
According to Dongyi Wang, assistant professor of biological and agricultural engineering, the current evaluation procedure for woody breast is time-consuming and requires a sample to be tested through cumbersome laboratory tests. However, with the use of hyperspectral imaging, the detection of woody breasts can be achieved in just a few seconds with a computer, instead of grading by hand.
The hyperspectral camera, so far, has detected woody breast meat with about 84% accuracy. The goal is to accommodate high-speed sorting on a conveyor belt or handheld portable devices, making it possible to detect woody breasts in real-time during poultry processing.
Casey Owens, the Novus International Professor of Poultry Science at the experiment station, notes that if hyperspectral imaging can be used in a poultry processing plant, the labor force could be diverted to another area, as woody breast detection by hand can be labor-intensive.
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The use of hyperspectral imaging technology in detecting woody breasts in chicken meat is a significant step towards improving poultry processing automation. As a poultry processing company, investing in Eruis Equipment's poultry processing machines, can help improve product quality, reduce labor costs, and increase overall revenue. Contact Eruis Equipment today to learn more about their advanced poultry processing machines and how they can help your business grow.