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Non-invasive measurements of wool and meat properties

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Recently, strong progress has been made in the development of non-invasive measurement equipment and techniques for the in-line determination of raw wool and boneless meat qualities in industrial applications. Wool base is a measure of the matter that comprises the ‘real’ wool, apart from grease, sheep gland excretions (called ‘suint’), water and vegetable matter. In meat we investigate the chemical lean as a percentage, where the remaining percentage is attributed to fat. These qualities are important parameters which determine their commercial return value. The instrumentation is based on dual energy X-ray (DEXA) scanning and detection, where an image of the scanned object is created and subsequently analysed without interrupting the process flow within the factory. In this technique, every pixel of the image provides data for a high and low energy X-ray beam, where both X-ray energies result from single X-ray energy spectrum generation. In wool, we developed a method to determine the wool base in raw wool by evaluating and comparing both energies for every pixel and finding mean properties for the entire fleece. The method is very promising, and we expect industrial applications to be employed in the future. We also developed a method to determine the chemical lean in boneless meat that is packed in standard size meat boxes. This method is successfully installed in industry, scanning nearly continuously several thousand meat boxes each day. Single energy analysis can be successfully employed to scan wool or meat for contamination, which is also briefly discussed.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, PO Box 31312, Lower Hutt, New Zealand

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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