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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Quality & Safety Assessment Research » Research » Research Project #420383

Research Project: Develop Methods to Assess and Improve Poultry and Eggs Quality

Location: Quality & Safety Assessment Research

Project Number: 6040-41440-001-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Oct 1, 2010
End Date: Sep 13, 2015

1. Develop improved rapid and non-destructive assessment methods for measuring poultry meat and egg quality: 1.A. Develop improved methods for assessing poultry meat quality properties with spectral imaging and vibrational spectroscopy techniques; 1.B. Develop hyperspectral imaging methods to predict sensory descriptive texture profiles or intensity of texture attributes of poultry meat; and 1.C. Develop rapid methods for grading eggs with imaging and spectroscopy. 2. Develop methods to improve poultry processing and product quality: 2.A. Develop methods to improve poultry processing efficiency; 2.B. Evaluate and develop innovative packaging technologies for retention and improvement of poultry meat shelf-life; and 2.C. Assess the influence of packaging safety interventions on the quality and shelf-life of poultry meat. 3. Develop feeds to maintain or improve poultry meat quality: 3.A. Design feed formulations with bioactive components to improve poultry meat nutritional quality; and 3.B. Assess feed formulations designed to improve poultry meat nutritional quality.

The different methods will be used to establish the relationship between muscle WHC and spectra because different methods show different aspects of WHC, and WHC values obtained with one method may not correlate well with values obtained with another method (Trout, 1988). The filter-paper method shows the total tightly bound water contents in meat which may not be correlated to the free fluid measured by drip loss. The moisture content shows the total water in the meat and provides very useful information for estimation of the variation in drip loss and filter paper measurements. The measurements from the traditional methods and the spectral imaging and vibrational spectroscopic data will then be analyzed using multivariate statistical approaches to discriminate the fillets based on WHC. Chemometric models will be developed to correlate spectral results with traditional WHC measurements. Since the visible/NIR spectra can be affected by muscle color lightness and the WHC can be significantly enhanced by marination, the correlation models will be further tested using marinated broiler fillets with different color lightness to test if the model can discriminate between marinated and un-marinated fillets. Hyperspectral imaging methods can be used to predict sensory descriptive texture measurements. The breast fillets will be deboned at 2h, 4h and 24h and the fillets with the same deboning time will be ground to make patties for both spectral imaging collection and sensory evaluation. Broiler carcasses will be also procured and deboned at different postmortem times. The whole fillets will be used to validate the model developed using ground fillets. Broiler fillets (6 each time and total 120 fillets) with different raw meat lightness (CIE L* values ranging from 47 to 65) and the same aging time (6-8h postmortem) will be obtained from a local chicken processing plant (no grinding). Broiler fillets with different lightness (L* value) have been demonstrated to have different sensory and instrumental texture profiles. Improved water management strategies will increase poultry processing efficiency. This research will identify operating conditions and process modifications that can reduce water consumption, operating costs, and environmental impact of process water at poultry plants by methods of engineering process analysis. This includes the development of process models combined with water quality studies that include chemical and biological investigations to predict the efficacy of alternate water management strategies. Poultry feeds formulated with bioactive components can improve the nutritional quality of poultry meat. Alternative sources of bioactive compounds will be identified in agricultural processing waste and residues. Screening of oilseed meals and other agricultural biomass will be performed to isolate lipid fractions that contain compounds with potential benefit for improving the nutritional quality of poultry meat products.