Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Quality & Safety Assessment Research » Research » Research Project #429688

Research Project: Assessment and Improvement of Poultry Meat, Egg, and Feed Quality

Location: Quality & Safety Assessment Research

Project Number: 6040-41440-002-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Sep 14, 2015
End Date: Sep 13, 2020

1. Enhance commercial uses of poultry meat and egg quality by understanding intrinsic properties and developing rapid measurement or detection methods. 1A. Identify poultry muscle characteristics that alter quality and processing attributes in meat and enable commercially viable processing strategies to limit the impact of meat myopathies and quality problems. 1B. Develop nondestructive imaging and spectroscopy methods to measure poultry meat and egg quality characteristics and defects. 2. Establish improved poultry meat product quality preservation through new commercial processing methods and innovative packaging technologies. 2A. Enable further processing of poultry meat products through marination processing methods and functional ingredients that enhance quality and sensory attributes. 2B. Develop active packaging materials and treatment systems with antimicrobial properties that preserve quality, extend shelf life, and/or reduce waste. 3. Design new commercial alternative protein feed formulations that improve poultry quality and value. 3A. Identify alternative meal components for poultry feed formulations. 3B. Develop spectroscopic methods to rapidly assess alternative feed meals. 4. Enable new commercial sensor-in-system flowing-grain microwave moisture and density meters for precision farming and yield monitoring. 5. Enable a portable, commercial microwave meter to create capacity for rapid grading in-shell almond and peanut by determining moisture content, meat content, and foreign material contents. 6. Enable new commercial microwave sensors for monitoring controlled drying of grains, peanuts and other seeds.

1A: The effects of emerging myopathies (white striping, wooden breast, etc.) on broiler breast meat composition, quality, processing, and sensory attributes will be investigated. To decipher poultry muscle properties that affect meat quality, changes in meat water holding capacity (WHC) during the first 24 h postmortem and throughout extended storage will be evaluated in broiler breast meat deboned at different times. Samples will be collected for biochemical and structural analyses to determine the mechanisms responsible for inferior meat quality characteristics. 1B: To develop nondestructive methods to measure poultry meat, trials will be conducted to evaluate spectroscopy and imaging techniques for measuring breast meat abnormalities. For nondestructive imaging of egg quality, a modified pressure imaging system will be expanded to grade eggs for abnormal shell texture, blood and meat spots, air-cell depth, and yolk shadow. The system will be redesigned for online operation. 2A: The effects of natural ingredients on the functional, processing, and sensory attributes of further processed poultry meat products with reduced sodium and phosphate contents will be evaluated. 2B: To develop active packaging materials and treatment systems with antimicrobial properties that preserve meat quality and extend shelf life, optimal cold plasma based treatment conditions for microbial reduction, shelf-life extension, and sensory quality retention on different fresh poultry meat products will be identified and validated. Fresh poultry meat packaging types and treatment configurations will also be assessed. 3A: To identify alternative meal components for poultry feeds, industrial oilseed crops will be evaluated. A complete economic analysis will be performed to identify prospective replacements for soybean meal. 3B: To develop spectroscopic methods to rapidly assess alternative feed meals, correlation equations will be developed from the spectral libraries of alternative seed meals to enable on-line measurement. Chemometric methods will be used to classify substrates and provide quality assessments of feed formulations. 4: A microwave frequency (>3 GHz) commercial sensor, operating in free-space transmission and using dielectric-based algorithms for grain bulk density and moisture content determination, will be tested in dynamic (flowing) situations. A prototype sensor will then be developed with off-the shelf components for wheat, corn, and soybeans. 5: Prototype from 4 above will be adapted for rapid grading of in-shell almonds and peanuts by collecting initial dielectric data while varying nut density, moisture content, temperature, meat content, sample foreign material, and sensor frequency. These data will then be used for a new algorithm. 6: Prototype from 5 above will be incorporated into a quarter-scale drying system with temperature and humidity sensors to demonstrate real-time drying while optimizing drying time, energy, and product quality. Measurements on peanuts, cereal grains and oilseeds will be collected.