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Title: Dielectric Spectroscopy of Fresh Chicken Breast Meat

item Nelson, Stuart
item Trabelsi, Samir
item Zhuang, Hong

Submitted to: ASABE Annual International Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/20/2007
Publication Date: 6/18/2007
Citation: Nelson, S.O., Trabelsi, S., Zhuang, H. 2007. Dielectric Spectroscopy of Fresh Chicken Breast Meat. ASABE Annual International Meeting.

Interpretive Summary: Consumer satisfaction with chicken meat depends mainly on quality factors that include taste, freshness, juiciness, and tenderness. However, little effort has been made so far to assess and monitor chicken meat quality by use of rapid, nondestructive instrument-based techniques in the poultry industry. Dielectric properties, the electrical properties of products that can be sensed with electric fields have potential for assessing meat quality nondestructively. Our research shows that the dielectric properties of chicken breast muscles depend on the frequency of the electric fields used and the temperature of the chicken meat. The muscle types and deboning time (the postmortem time when the chicken breast is removed from carcass) significantly affect the dielectric properties and meat quality of chicken breast muscles. Our results suggest that there is some potential for using dielectric properties measurements to assess the muscle types, deboning time, and quality of chicken meats nondestructively, which could benefit growers, processors and consumers.

Technical Abstract: The dielectric properties of fresh chicken breast meat were measured at temperatures from 5 to 85 'C over the frequency range from 10 MHz to 1.8 GHz by dielectric spectroscopy techniques with an open-ended coaxial-line probe and impedance analyzer. Samples were cut from both the Pectoralis major and Pectoralis minor muscle tissue for the measurements and placed in a temperature-controlled sample holder for the dielectric spectroscopy measurements. Samples representing two time periods after deboning, 2 h and 24 h postmortem, were included in the study. For the temperature range from 5 to 65 'C, temperature dependence and frequency dependence of the dielectric constant were similar for both kinds of muscle tissue and for the two deboning times. The temperature coefficient for the dielectric constant was positive at frequencies below about 200 MHz and negative at frequencies above that region. The dielectric loss factors were also similar in their frequency and temperature dependence for both kinds of muscle tissue and both deboning times. The behavior of the dielectric properties at temperatures above 65 'C was less predictable, probably because of changes due to cooking of the tissue. In general, dielectric properties of P. minor were somewhat greater than those of P. major, but values for the two deboning times were similar. Keywords. Dielectric spectroscopy, chicken meat, deboning time, Pectoralis, dielectric constant, dielectric loss factor, dielectric properties, permittivity