On July 1, the Agricultural Technology Research Program (ATRP) launched its FY 2015 research program with 14 projects underway. The projects focus on developing technologies that address critical issues facing poultry production such as reducing water usage and environmental impact, improving product safety, and enhancing labor efficiency through automation and process improvements.
ATRP’s vision is to be the technology innovation and development provider that enables Georgia to be recognized as the undisputed leader in poultry, agribusiness, and food processing. The FY 2015 research program highlights that in the breadth of projects selected.
“I am very excited about this year’s slate of great full-scale and exploratory research projects. They will push the research boundaries in poultry and agriculture as we continue to pursue the goal of fostering transformational innovation,” says Dr. Doug Britton, ATRP program manager.
Full-Scale Research Projects
The following full-scale research projects address critical issues facing poultry production.
Systems Modeling of Poultry Plant Water Usage
Researchers are generating a systems-based model of water usage in a typical poultry processing plant with the goal of defining areas to potentially improve water quality or reduce water use.
Novel Separation Technologies for Poultry Processing Liquid Streams
Dynamic Filtration research is investigating techniques to more selectively capture target impurities from poultry processing liquid streams in a way that facilitates the recovery of value-added byproducts while still meeting or exceeding water reuse guidelines.
Chicken Egg Fertility Detection
Chicken Egg Fertility Detection research uses noninvasive and rapid spectrophotometric techniques to track the changing embryo in-ovo or inside the egg, providing insight into a number of practices from animal health and welfare to the inoculation regime.
Monitoring Bird Well-Being in Broiler Housing Using Audio
The Growout Monitoring System analyzes bird vocalizations to determine whether they are under stress due to environmental conditions, disease, or other stressors.
Magnetic Beads for Low-Level Pathogen Preconcentration and Water Treatment
Magnetic beads are being developed and tested for two applications. One is a prototype preconcentration system that uses coated magnetic beads to capture and hold pathogens/bacteria in fluid samples. The second uses coated beads to remove targeted materials from larger volumes as a water treatment option.
Intelligent Cutting and Deboning System
The Intelligent Cutting and Deboning System uses 3D imaging and a robotic cutting arm to automatically perform precision cuts that optimize yield while eliminating the risk of bone fragments in finished poultry products.
Robotic Sensing and Grasping
The future of automation will require more intelligent systems, and to this end, researchers are focusing on the development of better imaging and sensing technologies as well as improved and more dexterous grippers and manipulators for robotics. Applications for these technologies include pick-and-place poultry processing tasks like loading birds on deboning cone lines.
Exploratory Research Projects
These exploratory research projects seek to develop concepts and ideas for later transition into full-scale research projects.
Evaluation of Novel Intervention Strategies for Pathogen Control
Researchers are developing a group of new antimicrobial compounds to reduce pathogens in food products.
Investigation of Leg Deboning
Researchers are studying chicken leg anatomy and the current manual leg deboning operation with the goal of designing a detailed methodology for automating the operation.
Tractor Trailer Shackle System Feasibility Assessment
Researchers are exploring the economic and mechanical feasibility of using alternative systems to replace cages in poultry transport tractor trailers.
Advanced Enrichment Reactor
Researchers are studying faster culture and better preconcentration methods to improve pathogen prevention and control in large-volume poultry processing samples.
Worker Safety Research for the Poultry Industry
A Mobile Motion Capture System uses smartphone technology and motion sensors to capture and then analyze ergonomics data from poultry plant workers as they perform their jobs. The goal is to optimize the workers’ performance, leading to increased productivity while reducing the risk of injury.
Individual Bird Monitoring Technologies
Researchers are designing a prototype device for measuring individual bird bio-responses in order to assess the bird’s well-being during live handling operations.
Exploratory Investigation of Ice-Water Slurry for Enhanced Antimicrobial Activity
Researchers are characterizing ice-water slurry and process settings that may be particularly effective at reducing the presence of pathogens in poultry chillers.