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The Poultry Food System: A Farm to Table Model


Poultry Meat Safety-Production, processing, and packaging safety of poultry meat, through bacterial intervention strategies including chemical, biological, thermal, engineering, and nutritional aspects. <UL> <LI> To research chemical (organic acids, acidified electrolyzed water, nisin/lysozyme) interventions for eliminating pathogenic (Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria) and spoilage bacteria on processed poultry products. <LI>To identify and evaluate biological interventions, such as competitive exclusion or biologically derived molecules, for eliminating pathogenic bacteria from poultry processing equipment surfaces and products.<LI> To evaluate novel thermal and non-thermal (irradiation) processes for eliminating pathogens and extending shelf life of poultry products.<LI> To research novel engineering and chemical (nisin and lysozyme) approaches for producing safer poultry products. <LI>To assess dietary components that may decrease colonization and shedding of pathogens during the production of poultry. </ul> Poultry Meat Quality - Improving meat quality through application of technologies and processes. <UL> <LI> Meat tenderness: Evaluation of changing processes (shortened aging), instrumental techniques to assess meat tenderness, and methods to improve and maintain tenderness through physical or chemical means. <LI> PSE-like poultry meat: Evaluation of processing processes and environment to prevent development and remediate PSE-like defective meat. <LI> Technologies and processes: Evaluation of controlled atmosphere stunning, kosher/halal processing, air chilling, irradiation, and other processes and their interactions with meat quality, including texture, color, flavor, water holding capacity, and blood splash.</ul> Egg Quality and Safety <UL> <LI> To identify methods to improve and maintain the quality and safety of shell eggs and egg products. <LI>To identify factors associated with functionality deficiencies in egg products. <LI>To measure changes in functionality of eggs over the hens egg production cycle.<LI>To quantify compositional changes in eggs over the hens egg production cycle.<LI> To evaluate the effectiveness of alternative sanitizing agents on shell eggs.<LI> To evaluate environmental and biological factors impacting the safety of eggs. <LI>To determine the applicability of imaging technology for assessing eggshell integrity and shell egg internal components and quality.

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Non-Technical Summary: A. The world poultry industry has maintained growth at unprecedented rates while consumer life styles and food preferences continue to change. B. To meet these needs, poultry producers and processors with the aid of University-directed research, such as through the efforts of regional research projects, are seeking to develop advanced production and processing technologies for use in producing consumer-oriented products that are produced environmentally responsibly. C. These changing technologies will require new basic knowledge about regional poultry production and processing efficiencies, and the safety, functional properties, and stability of poultry and egg products. The purpose of this research is to conduct research to improve the safety and quality of poultry meat and egg products. <P> Approach: Poultry Meat Safety-Influences of grain particle size and insoluble fiber content on Salmonella colonization and shedding in turkeys fed a corn-soybean meal diet (NC and SC) will be evaluated. Studies will be conducted to evaluate the efficacy of acidified sodium chlorite, organic acids, Tasker Blue, and other disinfectants in poultry drinking water against food-borne pathogens (AL, GA, ARS). Effect of carcass washers on Campylobacter and Salmonella contamination in large broiler processing plants will be researched (NC, AL, USDA, and GA). Listeria monocytogenes will be subtyped from a poultry further processing plant over a period of months to determine if L. monocytogenes come into the plant on raw product and become resident in the plant in areas such as floor drains (AL, GA, USDA, SC, and NC). The elimination of L. monocytogenes in packaged, ready-to-eat poultry products by combining heat with lysozyme and/or nisin and MAP will be investigated (NC, SC, and GA). Penetration of Salmonella spp. into whole muscle during vacuum marination, the effect of water activity on the thermal inactivation of Salmonella during heating of meat, and the effect of meat product structure on thermal inactivation of Salmonella during heating will be determined (MI, WI, AL, TX, NY). The ability of various food-grade powders to adsorb and release nisin activity will be evaluated (NC and SC). The effect of eggshell membrane by-product on food safety will be determined (NC and GA). A multi-hurdle approach using natural antimicrobial films and carriers with in-package pasteurization for sliced ready-to-eat poultry products will be evaluated (NC, SC, and GA). Poultry Meat Quality-Pale, Soft, Exudative Meat - AR and TX will evaluate processing techniques that may reduce PSE incidence (e.g., low amperage stunning, rapid chilling, or gas stunning). Controlled Atmosphere Stunning - A gas stunning system will be used in combination with current stunning processing practices (e.g. early deboning) to evaluate the impact on meat quality factors. Studies will also be conducted that focus on functionality of meat when subjected to various processes and/or ingredients; this will include the improvement of defective meat such as PSE meat. Developing technologies that could produce shelf stable poultry products that will require little or no refrigeration is a goal. Color, water holding capacity, texture, gel strength, flavor, and lipid oxidation will be measured using both instrumental and sensory techniques to determine consumer acceptability as well as characteristics of economic interest (FL, AR, GA, WI, AL, SC, TX). Kosher/halal slaughter, preslaughter handling and conventional slaughter practices will be evaluated (NY, WI, AR, ARS). In an attempt to standardize methodology for measuring color, a variety of color standards will be evaluated by various laboratories using either a Minolta or Hunter colorimeter. A recommendation for standardized methodology will be developed (AL, AR, NE, TX, SC, WI).

Russell, Scott
University of Georgia
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