Automated Assessment of a Critical Food Processing Variable – UA04-CNAG

Research Experiences for Teachers – Reynolds – UA06-RET
June 15, 2015
UPS INTEGRAD: Safety Training System for Driver Service Providers – VT08-UPS
June 15, 2015

Automated Assessment of a Critical Food Processing Variable – UA04-CNAG

This project designs an automated system the control parameters and constraints of processes in a production line.


ConAgra Foods

Research Team:

Earnest W. Fant, Ryan Mascoe

Universities Involved:

University of Arkansas

Start Date:


End Date:



The objective of this project is to design a successful automated system to assess and control internal temperature of cooked meat portions, detect presence of cooked portions on production line, gain control of cooked portions from moving conveyor, transport portion within work area, obtain internal temperature of portion, and take action based on assessment results
This proposal defines a research study to investigate the economic feasibility and technical practically of automating the assessment and controlling of a critical process variable for cooked meat portions. The USDA has defined this variable as a minimum of 157 degree Fahrenheit maintained for ten seconds for the inside temperature for a sampled cooked meat (beef and pork) portion exiting from an oven. This USDA criterion will eliminate health risks such as E. coli bacterial infection getting into consumer products. The characteristic of the assessment has human operators in uncomfortable working conditions, repetitive operations, difficult handling and multi-shift operations. The automated proposed solution for improvement in assessment and control must be protected from its environment of high temperatures, daily wash downs, electrical noise and fire hazards.