Submitted to: International Journal of Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 7, 2012
Publication Date: June 17, 2012
Citation: Samuel, D.D., Trabelsi, S. 2012. Measurement of dielectric properties of whole and ground chicken breast meat over the frequency range from 500 MHz to 50 GHz. International Journal of Poultry Science. 11(3):172-176. Interpretive Summary: Microwave heating utilized in the cooking of meat is an extremely rapid process and is therefore usually recommended for further processed meats. Many further processed meat products (i.e. frankfurters, bacon, deli loaves, and precooked items) utilize ground muscle and unlike less tender cuts, requires shorter cooking times to reduce cooking losses. According to the National Chicken Council further processed meat products account for approximately 50% of the broiler market. With an increase in the amount of further processed products being marketed, it is essential to understand the different properties that affect meat functionality in complex ready-to-eat meat products. The electrical properties of food greatly influence the absorption of microwave energy and consequent heating behavior of food materials. Measurements of the electrical properties were collected over a broad frequency range between 500 MHz and 50 GHz for whole and ground chicken breast meat. Color, moisture, and water holding capacity were also measured to examine any correlations with the dielectric properties.
Technical Abstract: The dielectric properties of food greatly influence its interaction with RF and MW electromagnetic fields and subsequently determine the absorption of microwave energy and consequent heating behavior of food materials in microwave heating and processing applications. Microwave heating is usually recommended for further processed meats to reduce cooking losses. Ground muscle is a common ingredient in further processed meats. Dielectric properties were obtained utilizing an Agilent 85070A open-ended coaxial-line probe connected to an N5230C PNA L-Network Analyzer. Measurements were collected at 501 frequencies on a logarithmic scale from 500 MHz to 50 GHz on whole and ground chicken breast meat. Color, moisture, and water holding capacity were also measured. Ground muscle exhibited lower dielectric properties than the whole muscle overall. Dielectric properties from whole muscle showed a greater dependence upon a* values (P<0.05) while for ground muscle, the dielectric properties were more influenced by the sample’s water holding capacity (P<0.05).