Submitted to: Journal of Meat Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 14, 2002
Publication Date: March 1, 2003
Citation: LIU, Y., FAN, X., CHEN, Y.R., THAYER, D.W. CHANGES IN STRUCTURE AND COLOR CHARACTERISTICS OF IRRADIATED CHICKEN BREASTS AS A FUNCTION OF DOSAGE AND STORAGE TIME. JOURNAL OF MEAT SCIENCE. 63:301-307. 2003.
Interpretive Summary: To be assured of healthful and safe meats, U.S. legislation requires that each poultry carcass at poultry slaughter plants be inspected by Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) inspectors. Visual and manual inspection on-line is prone to human error and day-to-day and inspector-to-inspector variations. Hence, at the Instrumentation and Sensing Laboratory, we have developed a visible/near-infrared (VIS/NIR) spectrophotometer system aimed at reducing the workload of the inspectors in processing lines, improving the effectiveness of the U.S. federal safety inspection program, and increasing the productivity of processing plants. This is the sixth report in a series for systematic research on chicken meats. To further validate the previous results and to establish the relationship between meat structure and color characteristics, we examined the effects of irradiation dosage and subsequent storage on chicken breast, ,using the same strategy as before, since irradiation is an effective metho for eliminating foodborne pathogen in order to prolong shelf life of various meats and meat products. Researchers working on visible/NIR spectroscopy of food and agricultural products will benefit from the findings of this research.
Structural change and color characteristics of chicken breasts as a function of irradiation dose and subsequent storage process were investigated by visible spectroscopy and Hunter Lab measurement. Ratios of R1 = A485 nm / A560 nm and R2 = A635 nm / A560 nm , which are related to absorbances of the visible bands at 485 nm (metmyoglobin), 560 nm (oxymyoglobin), and 635 nm (sulfmyoglobin), suggested that the relative amount of oxymyoglobin either increases as a result of irradiation, or decreases with the storage process. The plot of R1 and R2 versus storage time showed that the increments of both R1 and R2 are dose-dependent and the relative amount of oxymyoglobin species in irradiated meats begins to decompose 7-12 days later than raw meats. In addition, R1 and R2 values were correlated with color characteristics of meats.