Submitted to: Journal of Applied Poultry Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 8, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: A recurring problem in the poultry industry is the occurrence of tough meat. This problem can be avoided if the poultry carcasses are allowed to "rest" for a few hours between the time of slaughter and when the products are manufactured from the meat on the carcass. However, this resting process is expensive so poultry processors are interested in reducing the extent of or eliminating the resting period altogether. This research addresses the question as to how much of a resting period is necessary. The results indicate that decisions concerning desirable resting periods should be based on the proportion of product that consumers will accept even though they might consider it tough and not simply on a manufacturer's assessment of the average texture of the meat.
Technical Abstract: Effects of aging time on poultry meat Warner-Bratzler shear values was assessed. Broiler carcasses were aged for 30 to 360 min post-chill before harvesting and cooking the breast muscles. Examination of the data revealed that mean shear values decreased as post-chill aging time increased. Variation, skewness, and kurtosis of the frequency distribution of the shear values also changed with increasing post-chill aging time. Shear values became less variable as aging time increased, and there was a general shift to a distribution skewed towards tenderness. Even though mean shear values indicated significant tenderization after 60 min of post-chill aging, a commercially significant proportion of the samples remained slightly to very tough after 90 min post-chill aging. These data show that poultry processors can not rely on mean shear values alone in determining optimum aging times, but must also consider proportion of products with high toughness characteristics in addition to relative costs of aging versus costs of consumer complaints and product rejection.