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Headwall inks deal with USDA on poultry inspection

Headwall is partnering with the USDA on technology that facilitates high-speed inspection of poultry lines.
Headwall is partnering with the USDA on technology that facilitates high-speed inspection of poultry lines.

Machine vision provider Headwall Photonics has formed a partnership with the USDA on technology for high-speed, in-line inspection of poultry.

The licensing agreement comes on the heels of the company’s US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Commercial Research and Development Agreement (CRADA)

High-speed lines

A proposed USDA rule increases the speed of poultry production lines from 35 birds per minute to 175 per minute, using one USDA Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) inspector per line. The Headwall aberration-corrected hyperspectral sensors reportedly enable poultry firms to comply with regulations for detection at high speeds.

David Bannon, CEO of Headwall Photonics, said the poultry business is a huge industry—producing more than 9bn broiler chickens each year—with singular technological needs that suppliers must endeavor to meet.

Through close collaboration with USDA researchers, we have developed customized imaging sensors to meet the high-speed, high-performance demands of harsh, critical food processing environments,” he said.

Technology collaboration

USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) researcher Moon Kim said the collaboration between the USDA and Headwall tested more than 100,000 birds in honing the technology.

We have many years of successful experience working closely with Headwall sensor technology and their engineering team,” he said. “We will continue to collaborate with Headwall in commercializing this next generation of food inspection technology.”

Headwall’s Hyperspec imaging sensors reportedly are optimized for a broad range of spectral regions. It can handle visible spectral regions from 380 to 780 nm, visible/near infrared (VNIR) 400 to 1000 nm, extended VNIR 600 to 1700 nm, near infrared 900 to 1700 nm, and short-wave infrared 1000 to 2500 nm.

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