Título: OVOVIP- Determinación in-ovo del sexo en aves mediante visión hiperespectral
Total financiado: 10.000 €
Socios de proyecto: Laboratorio Oficial de Metroloxía de Galicia (LOMG) y Coren
Investigador principal (subproyecto LOMG): Dra. Soledad Torres Guijarro
Equipo de proyecto (subproyecto LOMG): Angel Dacal Nieto, Esteban Vazquez Fernandez
Technical report (inglés):
The objective of OVOVIP was to classify hen eggs by sex while they are being incubated, using image processing and hyperspectral imaging techniques. There are some references and patents that show that it is possible to get good percentages of classification using invasive techniques. These techniques usually get some allantoid or amniotic liquid from the embryo. With this information, some analyzed DNA (1), others checked that males have 2% more of cromosomical matter that females (3), and other measured strogens amount (4). There are other non-invasive tehcniques, measuring heart frequency (5) or detecting gonades by using ultrasounds (6). EMBREX INC. has some patents (7-9) about this issue.
Regarding the option of measuring strogens (4), we see that this is a clear indicator of the sex. Our idea was to use an infrared hyperspectral imaging system to capture the interior of the egg being illuminated by a halogen lamp. We performed the experiment but we were unable to classify more than a 60%. The reasons can be that these strongens are in a proportion of pg/ml. and we used 320x240 images, so that we did not have the necessary resolution to detect anything.
The NIR Hypespectral imaging system has been used to detect internal and external defects on potatoes and other problems, as to classify honey. An image acquisition session takes approximately 30 seconds, without further analysis.
* The lecture of Angel Dacal's PhD dissertation and the related publications is recommended in order to know more about the image acquisition system.
The system is composed by:
- Camera Xenics Xeva-1.7-320 (sensor InGaAs, 900nm - 1700nm, 320x256, USB 2.0)
- Specim Imspector N17E (900nm - 1700nm, spectral resolution 5nm)
- Mirror Scanner Specim
- Halogen lamps or fiber source Schott DCR III Plus, with randomized bundle.
- Optic table and other optic components
We had some troubles with the illumination, because the Schott source was not enough to see the interior of the egg in a short exposure time. Maybe more watts of lightning can help to solve that. The resolution of the taken images is not enough, but this kind of systems rarely have more that 1MP. We do not know if improving the system will improve the results, becuse we are trying to detect little variations that get lost because of camera noise, or the eggshell, or even the yield.
After this experiment we tried to detect if the egg had an embryo or not. Obviously, we got 99% of accuracy, since the bigger is the embryo, the more opaque the egg is. There are many other systems that do that.
 S. Nandi, D. McBride, R. Blanco, M. Clinton: “Sex diagnosis and sex determination”, World's Poultry Science Journal 59, 7-13, 2003.
 F. Ellendorf, S. Klein: “Current knowledge on sex determination and sex diagnosis potential solutions”. World's Poultry Science Journal 59, 5-6, 2003.
 T.R. Tiersch: “Identification of sex in chickens by flow cytometry”, World's Poultry Science Journal 59, 24-31, 2003.
 P. Phelps, A. Bhutada, S. Bryan, A. Chalker, B. Ferrell, S. Neuman, C. Ricks, H. Tran, T. Butt: “Automated identification of male layer chicks prior to hatch”, World's Poultry Science Journal 59, 32-37, 2003.
 R.G. Glahn, W.J. Mitsos, R.F. Wideman Jr.: “Evaluation of sex differences in embryonic heart rates”, Poultry Science 66, 1398-1401, 1987.
 (Patent) R. Reynnells, C. Flegal: “Method and apparatus for avian pre-hatch sex determination”, Patent No. WO 00/01302 PCT /US99/14279, 1999.
 (Patent) P. Phelps, V. Bennett: “Method of sorting birds in ovo”, Patent No. 98/14781 PCT/US97/18251, 1997.
 (Patente) B. Chalker: “Methods and apparatus for non-invasively identifying conditions of eggs via multi-wavelength spectral comparison”, WO 02/50532 PCT/US01/18908, 2002.
 (URL) Pfizer Animal Health ChickCounter “http://www.embrex.com/products/chickcounter.aspx”.