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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Develop Methods to Assess and Improve Poultry and Eggs Quality

Location: Quality & Safety Assessment Research

Title: Postmortem aging and freezing and thawing storage enhance ability of early deboned chicken pectoralis major muscle to hold added salt water

item Zhuang, Hong
item Savage, Elizabeth

Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/22/2012
Publication Date: 5/1/2012
Citation: Zhuang, H., Savage, E.M. 2012. Postmortem aging and freezing and thawing storage enhance ability of early deboned chicken pectoralis major muscle to hold added salt water. Poultry Science. 91(5):1203-1209.

Interpretive Summary: Water-holding capacity is the ability of meat to hold all or part of its own and/or added water. Water-holding capacity, including drip loss, cook loss, marination gain and marination retention, is a very important quality characteristic of meat and has direct impact on yield of meat processing and sensory quality of both raw and cooked meat. In this study we investigated how poultry meat process deboning time, meat handling (refrigerated storage or postdeboning aging) and short-term frozen storage influenced water-holding capacity of boneless skinless chicken breast meat estimated by drip loss (weepage), cook loss, total expressible fluid in meat, and % water gain in the presence of salt. Our results show that deboning time, refrigerated storage and short-term frozen do not affect cook loss and total expressible fluid of boneless skinless chicken breast meat. Deboning time and refrigerated storage do not influence drip loss; however, frozen storage significantly increase drip loss from the breast meat. Deboning time, refrigerated storage, and frozen storage can significantly increase % water gain in the presence of salt by the early-deboned breast meat, indicating that deboning time, refrigerated storage and frozen storage might able to enhance marination gain and marination retention of boneless skinless chicken breast.

Technical Abstract: The effects of postdeboning aging and frozen storage on water-holding capacity (WHC) of chicken breast pectoralis major muscle were investigated. Broiler breast muscle was removed from carcasses either early postmortem (2 h) or later postmortem (24 h). Treatments included: no postdeboning aging; 1-d postdeboning aging at 2C, 7-d postdeboning aging (2-h deboned meat only), and 6-d storage at -20C plus 1-d thawing at 2C (freezing/thawing treatment, 2-h deboned meat only). WHC was determined by cooking loss, drip loss, a filter paper press method (results were presented as expressible fluid), and a salt-induced swelling/centrifugation method (results were presented as % salt-induced water gain). There were no differences for WHC estimated by cooking loss and expressible fluid between the six treatments. Only the freezing/thawing treatment resulted in significant increase in drip loss. The average % salt-induced water gains by the 24-h deboned sample, postdeboning aged 2 h sample, and frozen 2 h sample, which did not differ from each other, were significantly higher than that by the 2-h deboned sample. These results indicate that regardless of method (carcass aging versus postdeboning aging) and time (aging for 1 day versus for 7 days), postmortem aging more than 1 day does not affect WHC of the early deboned samples measured by dripping, cooking, and pressing. However, postmortem carcass aging, postdeboning aging, and freezing/thawing storage can significantly enhance the ability of chicken breast meat to hold added salt water or WHC measured by the salt-induced swelling/centrifuge method.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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