Consumption of poultry products globally is on the rise. It is predicted that between 2013 and 2023 the industry will grow at a rate of 3.2% per year, with uptake set to increase faster than pork and beef products. Changing consumer behaviors and attitudes have helped fuel the increase in poultry consumption, alongside a growing population worldwide. A 2016 report — Poultry Trends  — highlighted that developing countries will account for 73 per cent of additional meat output over the next decade, with poultry the main driver of additional gains due to its low production costs relative to other meats.

In the US, a recent report by Technomic, 2017 Center of the Plate: Poultry Consumer Trend Report, compiled findings from more than 1,500 consumers, and outlined that poultry remains the protein of choice — with chicken consumption being bolstered in recent years by increases at breakfast and snacking options. Turkey consumption was still centered on festive occasions. However, 38% of those surveyed highlighted their desire to see restaurants offering more turkey on menus as a main protein choice. According to the report, the U.S. is projected to continue to lead poultry production, with output of over 23 million metric tons by 2025.

In the same timeframe, China is expected to produce output of 15.8 million metric tons – with rising incomes and the emerging middle classes demanding more and more meat. In addition, more western style eating habits have emerged as wealth has increased — with KFC, for example, being the most popular fast food restaurant in the country. Finally, European production and consumption of poultry remains strong, with an estimated 103.6% self-sufficiency rate in 2017 — a figure that has risen steadily since the EU became a net exporter of poultry in 2008.


X-ray ensures quality

A constant across the global poultry market is the drive for greater transparency in farming and production methods and a call for greater levels of safety. Consumers are far more informed today given the broader access to information, and are therefore more conscious of how the products they buy are produced. This has led governments, regulatory bodies and retailers to introduce far more stringent controls — particularly where the detection of foreign bodies is concerned. 

For poultry processors, the detection of bone is a key challenge. Product entering the retail supply chain with bones present where they should not be has the potential to harm a customers’ brand, and a negative consumer experience or, worse, a product recall, could have a serious impact. 

X-ray systems allow for quality assurance of poultry products during various stages of production, and are capable of detecting calcified bone down to 2.0mm in a number of presentations. With pipeline inspection technology, pumped products such as chicken filets and ground meat can be inspected during the initial phase of the production process, before the processing and packaging stages. This can prevent downstream equipment from potential damage from physical contaminants.  NP