Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/27/2007
Publication Date: 11/20/2007
Citation: Smith, D.P., Young, L.L. 2007. Marination pressure and phosphate effects on broiler breast fillet yield, tenderness, and color. Poultry Science, p. 86: 2666-2670. Interpretive Summary: Much of the poultry meat consumed in the U.S. is marinated prior to cooking. The marination process consists of adding salt and a small amount of phosphate dissolved in water to the meat. The meat and solution are put in a vessel, the air is removed to create a vacuum, and the vessel is rolled to tumble the contents for a few minutes. This process helps the solution to penetrate the meat. Consumers benefit because the marinade helps to increase perceived juiciness, tenderness, and flavor, with possible color improvement. The practice of creating a vacuum during marination is not well understood, and some countries do not allow phosphates to be added to meat that is sold raw (phosphates are added to processed and/or cooked meats such as bologna or sausage in these countries). Therefore this experiment was conducted to determine if vacuum is necessary during marination, and if phosphates improved meat quality. Raw chicken fillets were marinated at normal atmospheric pressure, under vacuum, or with positive pressure applied, and with or without phosphates. Results show that vacuum pressure is unnecessary to improve meat yield, tenderness, or color. Phosphates have little or no effect on tenderness or color, but do substantially improve yields, which are important to processors that cook meat.
Technical Abstract: In the U.S. a large percentage of raw poultry meat is marinated prior to cooking. Many products are marinated by vacuum tumbling meat with a mixture of water, salt, and phosphates to increase cook yield and perceived tenderness. This study was designed to determine the effect of three pressure treatments (ambient, vacuum, or positive) and phosphate on yield, tenderness, and color on broiler breast meat. In each of three replicate trials, 60 broiler breast fillets were randomly assigned to a tumble marination treatment of: 1) ambient tumble (AT) pressure (101 kPa); 2) vacuum tumble (VT) pressure (50 kPa); or, 3) positive tumble (PT) pressure (204 kPa). Each pressure treatment was conducted with and without phosphate in the marination solution. Marination tumblers were operated at 15 RPM for 20 min at a temperature of 30 C. Broiler breast fillets were weighed (raw, immediately after marination, 1 h post-marination, and after cooking), sheared after cooking with a Warner Bratzler (W-B) device, and evaluated for color (CIE L*, a*, and b*) before marination and after cooking. Pressure and phosphate treatment combinations did not significantly (P<0.05) affect marinaded or drip weights, W-B shear values, cooked b*, or percent drip loss. There was no effect of pressure treatment except for marinade uptake, where AT uptake was 12.7%, which was significantly higher than PT (11.4%); VT uptake (12.0%) was not different from either. Phosphate significantly increased cook weight (from 94.9 to 106.1 g) and cook yield (from 76.6 to 86.1%); L* and a* values were slightly but significantly decreased. Type of pressure during tumble marination had no effect except on marinade uptake, but the effect disappeared with 1 h holding time and cooking. Phosphate improved cook weight and yield. These data show that vacuum pressure during tumbling is not necessary, but phosphate is important to cook yields.