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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Quality & Safety Assessment Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #327231

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

Location: Quality & Safety Assessment Research

Title: Toward a fusion of optical coherence tomography and hyperspectral imaging for poultry meat quality assessment

Author
item Yoon, Seung-chul
item Bowker, Brian
item Zhuang, Hong

Submitted to: Proceedings for Electronic Imaging Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/9/2016
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: A study was conducted to investigate potential of fusing two different imaging techniques (optical coherence tomography and hyperspectral imaging) for rapid and objective detection of poultry meat with a myopathy (called wooden breast condition). The wooden breast condition is associated with chicken breast fillets having an uncharacteristically hard or rigid feel. In recent years, the wooden breast condition is becoming more prevalent in large, fast growing broiler chickens. Currently, there is no single objective evaluation method or system known for rapidly and non-invasively detecting and sorting boneless-skinless chicken breast fillets with the wooden breast condition. From this study, optical coherence tomography (OCT) provided sub-surface, cross-sectional images at micrometer resolution. The OCT image analysis revealed that the outermost connective tissue layer (i.e. epimysium) surrounding the meat was different between normal and wooden breast fillets in thickness and contrast. Hyperspectral imaging could differentiate excessive fats, strong whitish connective tissue and meat on the surface whereas OCT was ineffective to differentiate those features. Thus, the study suggested that when both techniques are fused, hyperspectral imaging will be able to detect the meat only without excessive surface materials so that OCT can probe into the sub-surface of the meat area and detect the wooden breast condition by analyzing the pattern of the epimysium.

Technical Abstract: An emerging poultry meat quality concern is associated with chicken breast fillets having an uncharacteristically hard or rigid feel (called the wooden breast condition). The cause of the wooden breast condition is still largely unknown, and there is no single objective evaluation method or system known for rapidly and non-invasively detecting this quality defect in boneless-skinless chicken breast fillets. Thus, there is an immediate need to develop a rapid and non-invasive sensing technique to detect the wooden breast condition. In this study, sub-surface microstructure and optical properties of poultry meat were measured by optical coherence tomography (OCT) at 930 nm and hyperspectral imaging from 400 to 1,000 nm. The analysis of the measured OCT B scan images showed that the thickness and pattern of the epimysium (the fibrous connective tissue surrounding the muscle tissue) of the meat could be a good feature to differentiate between normal and wooden breast fillets. The OCT signals under the fats and whitish strong connective tissue were smeared with speckle noise so that the epimysium layer edge disappeared under these locations. Because OCT imaging had a small field of view (~1 cm x 1 cm), it was implied that the scanning time of a large area such as a chicken fillet would be very long. On the other hand, hyperspectral imaging was effective to rapidly scan the entire surface of each fillet and detect excessive fats and strong connective tissue although a spectral analysis showed that there was no pronounced difference between mean spectra of normal and wooden breast fillets. The study results suggested that hyperspectral imaging would increase the throughput of OCT imaging while OCT would detect the wooden breast condition, when both modalities were fused. Thus, a fusion of OCT and hyperspectral imaging will provide a sensing tool to rapidly and accurately detect and sort chicken breast fillets with the wooden breast condition.