Submitted to: Journal of Food Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/29/2008
Publication Date: 9/17/2008
Citation: Zhuang, H., Savage, E.M. 2008. Validation of a combi oven cooking method for preparation of chicken breast meat for quality assessment. Journal of Food Science. 73(8): S424-S430. Interpretive Summary: Quality assessment, including palatability (sensory quality of flavor and texture and shear force) and cooking loss, has been widely used to validate pre-processing treatments and postharvest processing technologies for chicken meat by scientists and quality assurance personnel in research and quality monitoring. Quality assessment of cooked meat can be significantly affected by cooking techniques. A combi oven is a relatively new cooking technology used by food service in the U.S. However, there was lack of published information about its effect on palatability and cooking loss of chicken meat compared to a commercial oven and hot water cooking commonly used at home. Our results supply the evidence that demonstrates that combi oven cooking does not result in any significant changes in palatability (sensory quality and tenderness or shear force) of chicken breast meat compared with hot water cooking and commercial electric oven cooking. Compared to the commercial electric oven-cooked meat, the combi oven-cooked meat significantly reduces cooking loss (by 7%). A combi oven can be used as an alternative cooking method for chicken meat.
Technical Abstract: Quality assessment of cooked meat can be significantly affected by cooking techniques. A combi oven is a relatively new cooking technology in the U.S. market. However, there was lack of published information about its effect on quality measurements of chicken meat. The objective of this study was to validate a combi oven cooking method for quality assessment of cooked chicken breast meat as compared to a conventional commercial electric oven and hot water method commonly used in research. Broiler breast fillets deboned at 24-h post-mortem were cooked with the three methods to the core temperature of 80oC. Cooking methods were evaluated based on cooking operation requirements, sensory profiles, Warner-Bratzler (WB) shear and cooking loss. Our results show that the average cooking time for the combi oven was 17 min compared with 31 min for the conventional commercial oven method and 16 min for the hot water method. The combi oven method did not result in a significant change in the WB shear force values and cooking loss compared with hot water cook, although the cooking loss of the combi oven sample was significantly lower than the commercial oven sample. Average intensity scores of sensory attributes of the combi oven samples ranged from 2.0 to 5.3, and did not significantly differ from those of the commercial oven and hot water samples. These results demonstrate that the sensory profiles and WB shear force measurements of 24h deboned chicken breast meat are not significantly affected by the combi oven method when compared to a regular commercial electric oven and a hot water method. The Combi oven method appears to be an acceptable alternative for preparing chicken breast fillets in a quality assessment.