Abstract

Marbling is an important quality attribute of pork. Detection of pork marbling usually involves subjective scoring, which raises the efficiency costs to the processor. In this study, the ability to predict pork marbling using near-infrared (NIR) hyperspectral imaging (900-1700 nm) and the proper image processing techniques were studied. Near-infrared images were collected from pork after marbling evaluation according to current standard chart from the National Pork Producers Council. Image analysis techniques—Gabor filter, wide line detector, and spectral averaging—were applied to extract texture, line, and spectral features, respectively, from NIR images of pork. Samples were grouped into calibration and validation sets. Wavelength selection was performed on calibration set by stepwise regression procedure. Prediction models of pork marbling scores were built using multiple linear regressions based on derivatives of mean spectra and line features at key wavelengths. The results showed that the derivatives of both texture and spectral features produced good results, with correlation coefficients of validation of 0.90 and 0.86, respectively, using wavelengths of 961, 1186, and 1220 nm. The results revealed the great potential of the Gabor filter for analyzing NIR images of pork for the effective and efficient objective evaluation of pork marbling.

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