No-one, either consumer or supplier, wants to find bone fragments in their prepared fillets or diced meat. Product inspection before shipping aims to find problem items before they leave the factory, but small bone fragments are hard to detect using traditional methods.
In a standard X‑ray absorption image, bone fragments are not obvious - particularly so with diced meat, where the absorption of the meat varies locally due to different thicknesses and densities of meat.
This example shows a mass of diced chicken breast pieces with three fragments of bone, about 1 mm thick, deliberately introduced among them. In the X‑ray absorption image, the absorption contrast varies over the sample, and the bone pieces cannot be picked out either by a difference in absorption or by shape and edge recognition. IBEX’s MAP technology enables flesh and bone to be discriminated via the differences in material composition. It then becomes evident where the bone fragments are located.
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These data were collected using a tungsten micro-focus X‑ray source running at 90 kV, 3.9 W, and a flat-panel CMOS detector equipped with an IBEX MAP.