Submitted to: Meat Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/16/2009
Publication Date: 3/1/2010
Citation: DeOtte, Robert, Spivey, K.S., Galloway, H.S., Lawrence, T.E. 2010. Conservation of water for washing beef heads at harvest. Meat Science. 84(3):371-376. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The objective of this research was to develop methods to conserve water necessary to cleanse beef heads prior to USDA–FSIS inspection. This was to be accomplished by establishing a baseline for the minimum amount of water necessary to adequately wash a head and application of image analysis to provide an objective measure of head cleaning. Twenty-one beef heads were manually washed during the harvest process. An average 18.75 L (2.49 SD) and a maximum of 23.88 L were required to cleanse the heads to USDA–FSIS standards. Digital images were captured before and after manual washing then evaluated for percentage red saturation using commercially available image analysis software. A decaying exponential curve extracted from these data indicated that as wash water increased beyond 20 L the impact on red saturation decreased. At four deviations from the mean of 18.75 L, red saturation is 16.0 percent, at which logistic regression analysis indicates 99.994 percent of heads would be accepted for inspection, or less than 1 head in 15,000 would be rejected. Reducing to 3 deviations would increase red saturation to 27.6 percent, for which 99.730 percent of heads likely would be accepted (less than 1 in 370 would be rejected).