Safety improved in poultry production with spectral imaging

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The USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in the USA has employed spectral imaging solutions to improve its disease detection in poultry production lines. The ARS has signed a licensing agreement with Headwall Photonics for the Headwall's aberration-corrected hyperspectral sensors.

The combination of Headwall's sensors and USDA-patented, disease detection algorithms enable the USDA’s proposed rule to increase poultry production line rates for more rapid inspection systems at poultry slaughter plants. The proposed USDA rule will increase line speeds from 35 birds per minute to 175 birds per minute using a single USDA Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) inspector on the slaughter line.

‘Food safety and food quality is a very strategic market sector for the commercial deployment of Headwall's hyperspectral imaging technology,’ said Headwall CEO David Bannon. ‘Through close collaboration with USDA researchers, we have developed customised imaging sensors to meet the high speed, high performance demands of harsh, critical food processing environments’. Bannon also noted that poultry processors in the US alone produce more than nine billion broiler chickens per year. ‘This is a very large market with unique technology needs,’ he said.

Dr Moon Kim, a leading researcher with the USDA's Agricultural Research Service, commented: ‘These licensed patents represent many years of food safety and food quality research and have been tested with over 100,000 poultry carcasses. And, we have many years of successful experience working closely with Headwall sensor technology and their engineering team. We will continue to collaborate with Headwall in commercialising this next generation of food inspection technology.’

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