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item Windham, William
item Lawrence, Kurt
item Buhr, Richard - Jeff

Submitted to: Proceedings International Seminar on Nondestructive Evaluation Technology
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/18/2001
Publication Date: 6/18/2001
Citation: Windham, W.R., Park, B., Lawrence, K.C., Buhr, R.J. 2001. Visible/nir spectroscopy for fecal and ingesta detection. Proceedings International Seminar on Nondestructive Evaluation Technology.

Interpretive Summary: To ensure a healthy and safe meat supply to consumers, the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) established a zero tolerance standard for feces on the surfaces of animal carcasses during slaughter. The reasoning for the zero tolerance is to minimize the likelihood of contamination of meat and poultry with microbial pathogens. Visual observation currently verifies compliance with zero tolerance in meat processing establishments. We investigated visible near infrared spectroscopy as a potential objective method for discriminating between feces and uncontaminated poultry breast skin. The results of this research show that the visible light region can separate feces from the uncontaminated skin. Important visible wavelengths can be derived from this research and implemented in an imaging system for identification of fecal surface contaminates on poultry carcasses. Results may be incorporated with ongoing research to ultimately design a system to detect fecal contamination on poultry carcasses during commercial processing.

Technical Abstract: Zero tolerance of feces on the surfaces of meat and poultry carcasses during slaughter was established as a standard to minimize the likelihood of microbial pathogens. Microbial pathogens can be transmitted to humans by consumption of contaminated meat and poultry. Compliance with zero tolerance in meat processing establishments is currently verified by visual real-time observation. The objective of this study was to investigate the use of visible, near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy as a method to discriminate between uncontaminated poultry breast skin and feces. Pure feces (n = 104) and uncontaminated poultry breast skin ( n = 104) were scanned from 400 to 2498 nm with a NIRsystems 6500 monochromator. The spectra were reduced by principal component (PC) analysis. The first four PCs explained 99.8% of the spectral variation. PC 1 was primarily responsible for the separation of uncontaminated skin from feces. Key wavelengths were identified by intensity of loading weights at 628 nm for PC 1, 565 nm for PC 2 and 434 and 517 nm for PC 4. Visual assessment of loading weights suggests that discrimination was dependent on the spectral variation related to fecal color and myoglobin and/or hemoglobin content of the uncontaminated breast skin.