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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SENSING METHODS & INSTRUMENTATION FOR RAPID DETERMINATION OF MOISTURE CONTENT... AND OTHER QUALITY ATTRIBUTES OF GRAINS, SEEDS, & NUTS

Location: Quality and Safety Assessment Research Unit

Title: Investigation of differences in dielectric properties of marinated poultry meat

Authors
item Samuel, Dora
item Trabelsi, Samir

Submitted to: Annual Meeting of the Institute of Food Technologists
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 10, 2011
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The dielectric behavior of foods when exposed to radio-frequency and microwave electric fields is highly influenced by moisture content and the degree of water binding with constituents of the food materials. If their interaction with the interior of the food materials can be correlated with quality characteristics of interest, rapid and nondestructive techniques can be developed for such quality measurements. Water-holding capacity (WHC) and water-binding capacity are critical attributes in meat quality, especially as meat functionality has increased in relative importance with an increase in development of complex ready-to-eat meat products. Up to 50% of raw poultry meat in the United States is marinated with mixtures of water, salts, and phosphates. The objective of the research was to investigate the influence of marination on the dielectric properties of poultry breast meat. Poultry meat was obtained from a local commercial plant and brought back to the lab for measurements. Color and pH measurements were recorded along with initial weights of the breast filets. Groups of breast filets were sorted into classes of pale, normal and dark before adding marination pickup percentages of 0, 5, 10, and 15. Breast filets were vacuum tumbled and weighed for pickup percentages. Dielectric properties of the filets were measured at room temperature with a coaxial probe. Samples were then ground for measurement of the ionic conductivity of each sample. Overall, dielectric properties increased as the ionic conductivity increased. Differences between samples were more pronounced at lower frequencies for the loss factor. As frequency increased the differences between samples decreased. Differences in dielectric constant between samples were not as visible as seen with the loss factor.

Technical Abstract: The dielectric behavior of foods when exposed to radio-frequency and microwave electric fields is highly influenced by moisture content and the degree of water binding with constituents of the food materials. If their interaction with the interior of the food materials can be correlated with quality characteristics of interest, rapid and nondestructive techniques can be developed for such quality measurements. Water-holding capacity (WHC) and water-binding capacity are critical attributes in meat quality, especially as meat functionality has increased in relative importance with an increase in development of complex ready-to-eat meat products. Up to 50% of raw poultry meat in the United States is marinated with mixtures of water, salts, and phosphates. The objective of the research was to investigate the influence of marination on the dielectric properties of poultry breast meat. Poultry meat was obtained from a local commercial plant and brought back to the lab for measurements. Color and pH measurements were recorded along with initial weights of the breast filets. Groups of breast filets were sorted into classes of pale, normal and dark before adding marination pickup percentages of 0, 5, 10, and 15. Breast filets were vacuum tumbled and weighed for pickup percentages. Dielectric properties of the filets were measured at room temperature with a coaxial probe. Samples were then ground for measurement of the ionic conductivity of each sample. Overall, dielectric properties increased as the ionic conductivity increased. Differences between samples were more pronounced at lower frequencies for the loss factor. As frequency increased the differences between samples decreased. Differences in dielectric constant between samples were not as visible as seen with the loss factor.

Last Modified: 11/22/2014
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