Journal: PLOS ONE, vol. 12:e0173384, p. 1–16–16, 2017
International Standard Numbers:
Open Access: gold
The main objective of this work was to develop a method for rapid and non-destructive detection and grading of wooden breast (WB) syndrome in chicken breast fillets. Near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy was chosen as detection method, and an industrial NIR scanner was applied and tested for large scale on-line detection of the syndrome. Two approaches were evaluated for discrimination of WB fillets: 1) Linear discriminant analysis based on NIR spectra only, and 2) a regression model for protein was made based on NIR spectra and the estimated concentrations of protein were used for discrimination. A sample set of 197 fillets was used for training and calibration. A test set was recorded under industrial conditions and contained spectra from 79 fillets. The classification methods obtained 99.5–100% correct classification of the calibration set and 100% correct classification of the test set. The NIR scanner was then installed in a commercial chicken processing plant and could detect incidence rates of WB in large batches of fillets. Examples of incidence are shown for three broiler flocks where a high number of fillets (9063, 6330 and 10483) were effectively measured. Prevalence of WB of 0.1%, 6.6% and 8.5% were estimated for these flocks based on the complete sample volumes. Such an on-line system can be used to alleviate the challenges WB represents to the poultry meat industry. It enables automatic quality sorting of chicken fillets to different product categories. Manual laborious grading can be avoided. Incidences of WB from different farms and flocks can be tracked and information can be used to understand and point out main causes for WB in the chicken production. This knowledge can be used to improve the production procedures and reduce today’s extensive occurrence of WB.