Submitted to: Applied Engineering in Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 24, 2008
Publication Date: August 25, 2008
Citation: Chao, K., Yang, C., Kim, M.S., Chan, D.E. 2008. High throughput spectral imaging system for wholesomeness inspection of chicken. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 24(4):475-485.
Interpretive Summary: An online line-scan imaging system capable of both hyperspectral and multispectral visible/near-infrared reflectance was developed to inspect freshly slaughtered chickens on a processing line for wholesomeness. In-plant testing results indicated that the imaging inspection system achieved over 99% accuracy in identifying wholesome chickens and over 96% accuracy in identifying unwholesome diseased chickens. With appropriate methods of hyperspectral analysis and algorithms for online image processing, a machine vision system utilizing an electron-multiplying charge-coupled-device (EMCCD) camera for multispectral inspection can satisfy both the food safety performance standards and the high-speed production requirements (e.g., at least 140 bpm) of commercial chicken processing. Use of the imaging system may also help to improve product safety by preventing most systemically diseased birds from entering the evisceration line and lowering the risk of cross-contamination. In addition, use of the system can help reduce the routine workload imposed upon FSIS inspectors working in HIMP processing plants, allowing them opportunities to perform more meaningful tasks to enhance the public health safety for poultry products.
An online line-scan imaging system containing an electron-multiplying charge-coupled device detector and line-scan spectrograph was used for identifying wholesome and unwholesome freshly slaughtered chicken carcasses on high-speed commercial chicken processing lines. Hyperspectral images were acquired using the line-scan imaging system for 5549 wholesome chicken carcasses and 93 unwholesome chicken carcasses on a commercial processing line, for analysis to optimize ROI size and location and to determine the key intensity waveband and ratio wavebands to be used for online inspection. Multispectral imaging algorithms were developed for real-time online identification of wholesome and unwholesome chicken carcasses. The imaging system inspected over 100,000 chickens on a commercial 140 bpm kill line during continuous operation and achieved over 99% accuracy in identifying wholesome chickens and over 96% accuracy in identifying unwholesome diseased chickens. A system of this type can perform food safety inspection tasks accurately and with less variation in performance at high speeds (e.g., at least 140 bpm), and help poultry plants to improve production efficiency and satisfy increasing consumer demand for poultry products.