Utilization of hyperspectral imaging with chemometrics to assess beef maturity

Simon A. Haughey*, Holly Montgomery, Bernadette Moser, Natasha Logan, Christopher T. Elliott

*Corresponding author for this work

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There is a growing demand from consumers for more assurance in premium food products such as beef and especially steak. The quality of beef steak is primarily dictated by the maturation which ultimately influences its taste and flavor. These enhanced qualities have resulted in steak becoming a premium product that consumers are willing to pay a premium price for. A challenge,
however, is analyzing the maturity of beef by traditional analytical techniques. Hyperspectral imaging (HSI) is a methodology that is gaining traction mainly due to miniaturization, improved optics, and software. In this study, HSI was applied to wet aged beef supplied at various stages of maturity, with spectral data generated using a portable hyperspectral camera. Two trials were conducted over a five month period: (i) proof of principle and (ii) a bespoke sampling trial for the industry. With the support
of industry participation, all samples were sourced from a highly reputable UK/Ireland supplier. To enhance data interpretation, the spectral data collected were combined with multivariate analysis. A range of chemometric models were generated using unsupervised and supervised methods to
determine the maturity of the beef, and external validation was performed. The external validation showed good accuracy for “unknown samples” tested against the model set and ranged from 74 to 100% for the different stages of maturity (20, 30, and 40 days old). This study demonstrated that HSI can detect different maturity timepoints for beef samples, which could play an important role in solving some of the challenges that the industry faces with ensuring the authenticity of their products.This is the first time that portable HSI has been coupled with chemometric modeling for assessing the maturity of beef, and it can serve as a model for other food authenticity and quality applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4500
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2023


  • hyperspectral imaging; chemometrics; beef; maturity; classification model


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