RESEARCHERS are working on new techniques that aim to identify woody breast using accelerometer technology.

It is hoped that accelerometers will be able to detect different vibrations in poultrymeat that is affected by woody breast, white striping and other defects.

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The project is being led by Casey Owens, professor of poultry science at the University of Arkansas, along with Xiao Sun, visiting scholar from Chuzhou University and graduate student Ashley Mueller.

The team ultimately hope to develop tools that can be used on both live birds and processed breastmeat.

“Woody breast must vibrate and transfer vibration differently from normal breast,” Prof Li said.

“Modern accelerometers have high resolution, as shown in various health applications, and should be able to capture such differences when combined with machine learning.”


“Preliminary data suggest that muscles can present varying vibration patterns via accelerometers depending on degrees of woody breast severity,” Prof Li added.

“It is likely that muscle with increased collagen — indicating woody breast — and normal muscle have rather different mechanical properties that would lead to differences in vibration patterns.”

Woody breast is commonly found in larger, older broilers and has proven a major issue for the American poultry industry, which favours such birds.

“Developing a more predictive method of identifying birds in the field would allow better selection of animals for research and breeding programs,” said Prof Owens.