Submitted to: Journal of Food Quality
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/8/2007
Publication Date: 12/1/2007
Citation: Zhuang, H., Savage, E.M., Kays, S.E., Himmelsbach, D.S. 2007. A survey of the quality of six retail brands of boneless skinless chicken breast fillets obtained from retail supermarkets in Athens, Georgia area. Journal of Food Quality. 30:1068-1082.
Interpretive Summary: In the USA, poultry meat consumption has been growing very rapidly at the expense of red meat in the past two decades. Boneless skinless chicken breast fillets are the most popular poultry meat product in grocery stores. However, there was absence of information about the quality of boneless skinless chicken breast fillets available in the retail market. Our study results showed: 1). The flavor and texture of boneless skinless chicken breast fillets in the retail market of Athens, Georgia and the surrounding area were moderate; 2). The flavor of the fillets was similar regardless of brands of the products; however, the texture (such as hardness) was significantly different among brands; 3). The variation of texture quality or texture measurements depended on brand. This research first time supplies consumers the information about the quality they could expect when purchasing the chicken breast fillets from supermarket and demonstrates that the brands available in supermarkets could make the difference in both the quality and the quality consistency. This study also supplies useful reference information to research scientists if they are interested in using the chicken breast meat from market to conduct their researches.
Technical Abstract: To assess the variation in quality of chicken breast fillets available from retail supermarkets, six brands of boneless skinless fillets without additives were obtained from the fresh counter at grocery stores in Athens, Georgia and the surrounding area during fall of 2005. The samples were stored at -20 degrees C. before being cooked using a Henny Penny MCS-6 combi oven. Quality parameters of the fillets were measured on the cooked chicken breast fillets including cook yield, descriptive sensory flavor and texture profiling, and Warner-Bratzler (WB) shear force. Our results show that the average cook yield ranged from 78.1% to 80.9%, the average intensity of individual descriptive sensory characteristics was less than 5.4 in a 0-15 universal scale, and WB shear force values were less than 5.2 kg. There were no significant differences in the intensity among brands of all tested flavor attributes and the texture characteristics associated with moisture. However, significant differences were found among the brands for cook yield, mechanical properties of texture (including springiness, cohesiveness, hardness and chewiness) and WB shear force values. The variation of WB shear force measurements (coefficient of variation) depended on brand. These results indicate that differences exist in the quality and shear force consistency among market brands of boneless skinless chicken breast fillets available in Athens, Georgia and the surrounding area.