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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Quality and Safety Assessment Research Unit

2009 Annual Report

1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
A goal of this project is to develop and compare rapid, accurate, improved (nondestructive)and environmentally benign spectral methods to replace invasive, less accurate and less rapid current methods of analysis to determine the quality and functional end product use of agricultural commodities and food products and to assist regulatory agencies in objectively measuring and predicting quality and functionality. Another goal is to enhance the value of fiber commodities, such as cotton and flax through the design, development and testing of woven and non-woven materials for composites with specific properties and industrial applications.

Specifically this involves sub-objectives to:.
1)Develop an accurate method for determining starch amylose/amylopectin ratios as a measurement of grain quality to facilitate its genetic development/functionality for foods, biobased products, and biofuels..
2)Facilitate compliance with the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) by the development of rapid, accurate and environmentally benign spectroscopic methods for: total dietary fiber in mixed foods; for rapid analysis of fats in cereal and snack foods; and rapid analysis of trans-fatty acids in snack foods..
3)Develop methods for cotton to detect stickiness and identify trash, factors that adversely affect quality..
4)Develop methods to determine the fiber content of the standing flax plant to predict proper harvesting time and for the assessment of retted flax that provides a measurement of shive (trash) content..
5)Determine the relationships among sensory, physical, and chemical properties of poultry meat that result from non-traditional processing, such as applications that hasten the onset of rigor or air-chilling to reduce water use..
6)Determine the relationships among sensory, physical, and chemical properties of poultry meat that result from further-processing treatments, such as marination to increase yield and improve sensory quality..
7)Design and produce woven and non-woven flax fiber products for construction of composites for specific industrial applications and develop methods to utilize flax and agricultural process by-products into usable bio-based co-products.

1b.Approach (from AD-416)
This project has multiple approaches for the objectives:.
1)Proton high-resolution magic-angle-spinning (HR MAS) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) will be employed to measure the branching in grain starch based on the ratio of the areas of the anomeric protons (1-4/1-6). The data so obtained will serve as reference data for use in chemometric calibrations for vibrational spectroscopic techniques (near-infrared [NIR], mid-infrared [MIR] and Raman) to provide more accurate rapid analysis methods..
2)Analysis of dietary fiber in mixed meals will be conducted by homogenizing the samples and analyzing sub-samples for total dietary fiber (TDF) by Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) Method 991.43 as the reference method. Off-the-shelf cereal and snack foods will be milled and analyzed for total fat using AOAC Method 996.01 as the reference method. Fatty acids will be extracted and analyzed for the proportion of trans-fatty acids by gas chromatography (GC) as the reference method. Samples will be scanned with diffuse refection NIR and/or MIR spectrometers. Chemometric models will be developed to relate spectra to reference data and used to predict: dietary fiber; total, saturated, and trans-fat in test mixed meals; cereal products; and snack food samples..
3)Obtain stickiness values on cotton fiber samples by mini-card system as reference values. Scan samples with high-resolution NIR spectrometers. Develop spectroscopically based classification models. Export model to a field analysis based system. Integrate the system with remediation technologies..
4)Collect samples of all anticipated foreign matter (trash) that could potentially be present in cotton. Scan samples using attenuated total reflectance/Fourier transform-infrared (ATR/FT-IR). Build database of spectra. Validate with known samples and test the database using unknown samples. Identify unknown foreign matter in cotton. Develop a set of samples prepared from physically separated pure fiber and shive of flax. Grind and prepare weighed mixtures of components. Scan these samples using laboratory based NIR spectrometers. Develop a chemometric calibration for fiber and shive content of the samples. Use this calibration to predict the fiber and shive content of as-is and retted flax..
5)Develop comprehensive profiles of the measurable sensory attributes of foods and food products and relate these profiles to the food's physical and chemical properties in order to enhance product development and accurately predict end-use quality. Develop indexes, methods, or strategies to predict, evaluate, modify, and control end-use quality based on data-relationships..
6)The overall framework of the research involves six steps; (a) Develop specific sensory objectives relating to the commodity problem; (b) Select the range of characteristics encompassed by the problem that will be tested; (c) Develop the appropriate databases of sensory, chemical, physical properties; (d) Pre-process the data using multivariate methods; (e) Develop and test models to explain and predict sensory quality; (f) Test selected variables in more stringent experimental designs.

3.Progress Report
Methods to Detect Poultry Meat Water-Holding Capacity. Water-holding capacity of meat directly affects further-processed meat yields and shelf life of raw meat in the retail market. Currently the methods commonly used to determine meat water-holding capacity were developed more than 30 years ago, and are destructive and time-consuming. We are developing vibrational spectroscopic methods for rapid and non-destructive measurement of poultry meat water-holding capacity. Poultry breast meat with different water-holding capacity has been measured using the traditional methods and dielectric spectroscope at the same time. The data will be analyzed with a statistical model to correlate the results from traditional methods to the measurements from dielectric spectroscope.

Poultry Processing Innovation and Poultry Meat Quality. Sensory quality directly impacts purchase and use of food by consumers. We have been using sensory evaluation techniques to validate poultry processing innovation and poultry meat quality. Our sensory results showed that for the new retail boneless skinless chicken thigh product, postmortem aging did not have a significant effect on their flavor and texture quality, indicating that the meat can be removed from bone any time during postmortem without loss of meat palatability. The raw meat color can significantly affect the texture quality of poultry breast fillets, although no effect was measured with sensory flavor quality. Light color meat might be perceived by consumers as harder and chewier. This result demonstrated that poultry production and processing need to avoid producing the relative lighter color breast meat. Egg Micro-Crack Detection Does not Cause Cracks. Human graders are having trouble finding small hairline cracks in table eggs. A modified-pressure imaging system to detect hairline cracks in shell eggs has been developed to assist the human graders. The system uses digital images of eggs at atmospheric pressure and under a slight vacuum to detect the cracks. However, there was a possibility that the negative pressure could cause cracks in large, thin-shelled eggs which typically occurs in the summer just prior to the hen undergoing molt. Eggs from six different breeds of pre-molt chickens were collected in North Carolina during the summer. Eggs were screened by official graders and 1080 intact eggs (180 per breed) were then tested in the modified-pressure imaging system and checked for induced cracks. The system did not cause any crack in the intact eggs, but it did find two cracks that the original grader missed. Results indicated that, even under the worse conditions, the modified-pressure imaging system did not cause cracks in intact table eggs.

Replaced by bridging project 6612-44000-026-00D due to pending OSQR review.

5.Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations
No significant activities were conducted that support special target populatons.

6.Technology Transfer


Review Publications
Nigmatullin, R.R., Osokin, S.I., Nelson, S.O. 2008. Application of fractional-moments statistics to data for two-phase dielectric mixtures. IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation. 15(5):1385-1392.

Trabelsi, S., Nelson, S.O., Lewis, M.A. 2009. Microwave Nondestructive Sensing of Moisture Content in Shelled Peanuts Independent of Bulk Density with Temperature Compensation. Sensing and Instrumentation for Food Quality and Safety 3:114-121.

Hinton Jr, A., Holser, R.A. 2009. Role of water hardness in rinsing bacteria from the skin of processed broiler chickens. International Journal of Poultry Science. 8:112-115.

Akin, D.E., Rigsby, L.L. 2008. Corn Fiber: Structure, Composition, and Response to Enzymes for Fermentable Sugars and Co-Products. Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology. 144(1):59-68.

Marshall, W.E., Akin, D.E., Wartelle, L.H., Annis, P.A. 2007. Citric Acid Treatment of Flax, Cotton and Blended Nonwoven Mats for Copper Ion Absorption. Industrial Crops and Products. 26(1):8-13.

Lee, J.H., Akoh, C.C., Himmelsbach, D.S., Lee, K. 2008. Preparation of Interesterified Plastic Fats from Fats and Oils Free of Trans Fatty Acid. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 56(11):4039-4046.

Sohn, M., Barton Ii, F.E., Himmelsbach, D.S. 2007. Transfer of nir calibration model for determining fiber content in flax; effects of transfer samples and standardization procedure. Applied Spectroscopy. 61(4): 414-418(5). 2007.

Zhuang, H., Savage, E.M., Smith, D.P., Berrang, M.E. 2008. Effect of dry air chilling on warner-bratzler shear force and water-holding capacity of broiler meat deboned four hours postmortem. International Journal of Poultry Science. 7(8):743-748.

Lawrence, K.C., Windham, W.R., Park, B., Heitschmidt, G.W., Smith, D.P. 2006. Partial Least Squares Regression of Hyperspectral Images for Contaminant Detection on Poultry Carcasses. Near Infrared Spectroscopy Journal. 14(4):223-230.

Zhou, G., Zhong, R., Himmelsbach, D.S., Mcphail, B.T., Ye, Z. 2007. Molecular Characterization of PoGT8D and PoGT43B, Two Secondary Wall-Associated Glycosyltransferases in Popular. Plant And Cell Physiology.

Sohn, M., Kim, Y., Vines, L.L., Kays, S.E. 2009. NIR analysis of lipid classes in processed cereal products. Near Infrared Spectroscopy Journal. 17(3):127-133.

Fan, X., Kays, S.E. 2008. Formation of trans Fatty Acids in Ground Beef and Frankfurters due to Irradiation. Journal of Food Science. 74(2):C79-C84.

Last Modified: 4/20/2014
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