|Poole, Gavin - UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA|
|Alley, A - AUBURN UNIVERSITY|
|Hess, J - AUBURN UNIVERSITY|
|Bilgili, S - AUBURN UNIVERSITY|
|Northcutt, J - UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA|
Submitted to: Journal of Applied Poultry Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 17, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Poultry processors are concerned that small changes made in the procedures used to grow broilers will affect the quality of the meat product sold to consumers. This survey was conducted to determine how much the texture of the cooked meat was affected by small changes in the diet fed to the bird, the strain (genetic make up) of the bird, the age of the bird when processed, and the gender (male or female). Two commercial strains of broilers were raised in mixed sex pens. Birds in a pen were fed one of two commercial style diets. Starting when the birds were 5 weeks old, 120 birds were processed each week. Both breast fillets were removed from the carcass and steam cooked. The cooked fillets were tested for texture using two different devices. No effects on texture were detected due to the diets, strains, or gender used in this study. Fillets from 6, 7, and 8 week-old birds were tougher than fillets from the 5-week-old birds. All meat samples regardless of age, gender, diet, strain, or texture assessing device would be considered acceptable to consumers. These data indicate that minor changes in diet, strain and age that could happen in industry, would have minimal effects on the ultimate meat quality of the fillets and the differences would not be noted by consumers.
Technical Abstract: This survey was conducted to determine if gender, as well as small changes in age, strain and diet, would produce pronounced differences in the percentage cooked yield, and Allo-Kramer (AK) and Warner-Bratzler (WB) shear values of aged broiler breast meat. Two commercial strains of broilers were raised in mixed sex pens at Auburn University Poultry Research Farm, Auburn, AL. Birds were fed one of two similar commercial style diets. Each week for 4 wk starting when the birds were 5 wk old, 120 birds were processed at the Auburn University Poultry Processing Plant. The carcasses were then placed on ice and transported to the USDA-ARS facility in Athens, GA, where they were stored at 4 C until the next day. The breast fillets (consisting of the boneless, skinless, Pectoralis) were excised and cooked. The left breast was sampled for AK shear and the right breast for WB shear. No effects were detected for any of the variables measured, due to the diets and strains used in this study. Males had a higher cooked yield than females, and 7 and 8-wk-old birds had higher cooked yields than the younger birds. Gender did not significantly affect shear values of the fillets. Meat from 6, 7, and 8wk old birds required significantly more force to shear using the WB shear apparatus than meat from the 5-wk-old birds. All AK and WB shear values from aged breast meat would be considered tender. This data indicates that minor changes in diet, strain and age that could happen in industry, would have minimal effects on the ultimate meat quality of the fillets.