27 April 2009 Using a 3D profiler and infrared camera to monitor oven loading in fully cooked meat operations
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Abstract
Ensuring meat is fully cooked is an important food safety issue for operations that produce "ready to eat" products. In order to kill harmful pathogens like Salmonella, all of the product must reach a minimum threshold temperature. Producers typically overcook the majority of the product to ensure meat in the most difficult scenario reaches the desired temperature. A difficult scenario can be caused by an especially thick piece of meat or by a surge of product into the process. Overcooking wastes energy, degrades product quality, lowers the maximum throughput rate of the production line and decreases product yield. At typical production rates of 6000lbs/hour, these losses from overcooking can have a significant cost impact on producers. A wide area 3D camera coupled with a thermal camera was used to measure the thermal mass variability of chicken breasts in a cooking process. Several types of variability are considered including time varying thermal mass (mass x temperature / time), variation in individual product geometry and variation in product temperature. The automatic identification of product arrangement issues that affect cooking such as overlapping product and folded products is also addressed. A thermal model is used along with individual product geometry and oven cook profiles to predict the percentage of product that will be overcooked and to identify products that may not fully cook in a given process.
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John Stewart, Aklilu Giorges, "Using a 3D profiler and infrared camera to monitor oven loading in fully cooked meat operations", Proc. SPIE 7315, Sensing for Agriculture and Food Quality and Safety, 73150C (27 April 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.819322; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.819322
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