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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)
Develop, test, and prototype rapid optical systems and methods to detect food contaminants, particularly contaminants found in the poultry industry such as fecal contaminants on poultry carcasses. Develop optical systems to detect intentional and unintentional biological, physical, and chemical contamination of food products.

1b.Approach (from AD-416)
A real-time on-line fecal detection system, which consists of a multispectral imaging camera, lighting, and detection algorithm, will be prototyped. Multispectral and hyperspectral imaging systems will be used to identify physical hazards in poultry meat. Hyperspectral imaging in transmission mode will be used with structured lighting to identify embedded bones in breast filets. Hyperspectral imaging will also be used with white and brown shell eggs to identify both internal defects such as blood spots, meat spots, and bacterial contamination, and external defects such as fecal matter on shells and cracked shells. Hyperspectral imaging systems will be also be used to identify bacterial and chemical agents in meat and meat products. Collaboration with ARS Instrumentation and Sensing Laboratory, BARC, FSIS, and the University of Georgia Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department will be used to aid and enhance the research.

3.Progress Report
Real-Time Hyperspectral Imaging System. The poultry industry has interest in a unified imaging platform that can detect diseases and fecal contaminants on poultry carcasses. An online hyperspectral imaging system with programmable wavelengths selection was used for detecting fecal contaminants on poultry carcasses in real-time. The real-time system was able to image between 140 and 190 birds per minute. Several pilot-scale tests of the system demonstrated feasibility and potential for deployment in a commercial poultry processing plants.

Detection of Huanglongbing Infected Citrus Plants. The citrus industry has a need for a rapid screening method to detect Huanglongbing (HLB or greening disease) infected leaves. We have developed two methods using near-infrared reflectance and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy to discriminate between leaves of HLB infected trees versus leaves from non-infected trees. The methods were developed from healthy plants, plants infected with HLB, and plants with other citrus maladies. Once the calibration databases are fully developed to account for growing and seasonal differences, these methods will have the potential to be used as a quick and inexpensive survey technique for HLB infection.

Surface Enhanced Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy for Nanobiosensors. Devices capable of detecting ultra low levels of toxins are being developed. To ensure that the toxins are captured on the device and held in place until detected, a toxin-specific linker molecule was needed. A monolayer of a thiol linker molecule, deposited on a thin gold-layer substrate and attached to a mica slide, was used. Fourier transform infrared reflectance (FTIR) spectroscopy was then used to study the surface chemistry of the monolayer deposited, and a detection protocol was developed.

Nanotechnology for Food Toxin Detection with Atomic Force Microscopy. Nanotechnology has the potential to revolutionize agricultural and food system and nanobiosensors can be an important tool for detecting food toxins. Ricin is a protein toxin that can cause allergic reactions or even be fatal in very small quantities. A new detection method for ricin with Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) has been developed that can detect single molecules of ricin. Thus, the system has very high sensitivity and specificity. The methodologies and protocols also have potential for rapid detection of other biological agents and toxins.

Nanotechnology for Salmonella Detection with Surface Plasmon Resonance. Low concentrations of food pathogens and bio-threat agents can be a serious danger to human lives. A rapid and accurate detection method is needed and a surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensor has potential. To enhance the detection limit, a nanorod mediated SPR sensor was designed. Using the high aspect ratio of the nanorod surface provided more absorption of analyte and enhanced the sensitivity of detection. This innovative detection method can now be used for food safety and security applications.

1. Real-time Online Fecal Detection. Identification and separation of poultry carcasses contaminated by feces and ingesta are necessary to protect consumers from a potential source of food poisoning. To enhance FSIS food safety inspection program, a real-time multispectral imaging system was installed and tested in a commercial poultry processing plant to detect fecal contaminants at a rate of 150 birds per minute. The system ran for a 2-day period with no hardware or software problems and demonstrated feasibility. At the request of a commercial partner, the imaging system has now been changed to the same imaging platform that other ARS scientists in Beltsville, MD are using to detect systemically diseased poultry carcasses. This change of imaging systems will aid commercialization by creating one imaging system that solves two separate and significant problems in the poultry industry: disease and fecal contamination.

6.Technology Transfer

Number of New Patent Applications Filed1

Review Publications
Yoon, S.C., Lawrence, K.C., Siragusa, G.R., Line, J.E., Park, B., Feldner, P.W. 2009. Hyperspectral Reflectance Imaging for Detecting a Foodborne Pathogen: Campylobacter. Transactions of the ASABE. 52(2): 651-662

Lawrence, K.C., Yoon, S.C., Jones, D.R., Heitschmidt, G.W., Park, B., Windham, W.R. 2009. Modified Pressure System for Imaging Egg Cracks. Transactions of the ASABE. 52(3):983-990.

Hannah, J.F., Fletcher, D.L., Cox Jr, N.A., Smith, D.P., Cason Jr, J.A., Northcutt, J.K., Richardson, L.J., Buhr, R.J. 2009. Impact of Added Sand on the Recovery of Salmonella, Campylobacter, Escherichia coli, and Coliforms from Pre-Chill and Post-Chill Commercial Broiler Carcass Halves. Journal of Applied Poultry Research. 18:(2)252-258.

Chen, G., Ning, X., Boons, J., Park, B., Xu, B. 2009. Simple, clickable protocol for atomic force microscopy tip modification and its application for trace ricin detection by recognition imaging. Langmuir. 25(5):2860-2864.

Chen, G., Zhou, J., Xu, B., Park, B. 2009. Single ricin detection by AFM chemomechanical mapping. Applied Physics Letter 95: doi:10.1063/1.3190197.

Park, B., Fu, J., Zhao, Y., Siragusa, G.R., Cho, Y., Lawrence, K.C., Windham, W.R. 2007. Bio-Functional Au/Si nanorods for Pathogen Detection. Proceedings of SPIE 6769-26.

Lawrence, K.C., Windham, W.R., Park, B., Heitschmidt, G.W., Smith, D.P., Feldner, P.W. 2006. Partial least squares regression of hyperspectral images for contamination detection on poultry carcasses. Journal of Near Infrared Spectroscopy. 14:223-230

Huezo, R., Smith, D.P., Northcutt, J.K., Fletcher, D.L. 2007. Effect of Immersion or Dry Chilling on Broiler Carcass Moisture Retention and Breast Fillet Functionality. Journal of Applied Poultry Research. 16:438-447.

Fu, J., Park, B., Zhao, Y. 2009. Nanorod mediated surface plasmon resonance sensor based on effective medium theory. Applied Optics 48: 4637-4649.

Fu, J., Park, B., Zhao, Y. 2009. Limitations of a localized surface plasmon resonance sensor on Salmonella detection. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical 141(1): 276-283.

Heitschmidt, G.W., Park, B., Lawrence, K.C., Windham, W.R., Smith, D.P. 2007. Improved hyperspectral imaging system for fecal detection on poultry carcasses. Transactions of the ASABE. 50(4):1427-1432.

Kise, M., Park, B., Lawrence, K.C., Windham, W.R. 2008. Development of Handheld Two-Band Spectral Imaging System for Food Safety Inspection. Biological Engineering 1(2): 145-157 (ASABE).

Park, B., Kise, M., Lawrence, K.C., Windham, W.R., Smith, D.P., Thai, C.N. 2007. Real-Time Multispectral Imaging System for Online Poultry Fecal Inspection using Unified Modeling Language.. Sensing and Instrumentation for Food Quality and Safety. 1(2):45-54.

Park, B., Yoon, S.C., Kise, M., Lawrence, K.C., Windham, W.R. 2009. Adaptive image processing methods for improving contaminant detection accuracy on poultry carcasses. Transactions of the ASABE. 52(3):999-1008.

Park, B. Quality Inspection of Poultry Carcasses. Chapter 7, Computer Vision Technology for Food Quality Evaluation (ed. Da-Wen Sun), Elsevier Press: 157-187, 2008.

Smith, D.P., Young, L.L. 2007. Marination pressure and phosphate effects on broiler breast fillet yield, tenderness, and color. Poultry Science, p. 86: 2666-2670.

Cho, B., Kim, M.S., Chao, K., Lawrence, K.C., Park, B., Kim, K. 2009. Detection of fecal residue on poultry carcasses by laser induced fluorescence imaging techniques. Journal of Food Science. 74(3):154-159.

Cho, Y., Kim, C., Kim, N., Kim, C., Park, B. 2008. Some cases in applications of nanotechnology to food and agricultural systems. Biochip Journal. 2(3):183-185.

Last Modified: 4/20/2014
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