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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Quality & Safety Assessment Research

Title: Effects of Broiler Pectoralis Major Size on Sensory Descriptive Flavor and Texture Profiles of Cooked Meat

item Zhuang, Hong
item Savage, Elizabeth

Submitted to: World Poultry Congress Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/23/2012
Publication Date: 8/8/2012
Citation: Zhuang, H., Savage, E. 2012. Effects of Broiler Pectoralis Major Size on Sensory Descriptive Flavor and Texture Profiles of Cooked Meat. World Poultry Congress Proceedings.

Interpretive Summary: The success of poultry production over the last decades has resulted from the genetic improvements in growth rates, especially in breast meat yield. However, the effect of such genetic selection on eating quality of poultry meat needs to be investigated. In the present study, we investigated fillet size (or weight) effects on eating or sensory quality of cooked broiler breast meat using. Our results show that cooked medium size fillets were less cohesive, tenderer, and less sour than either cooked large size fillets or cooked small size fillets. However, cooked large size fillets were juicier than cooked small size fillets. Juiciness of cooked medium size fillets did not differ from either large or small size fillets. Small fillets tasted cardboardier than large and medium size fillets, which were not different from each other. These results demonstrate that the breast fillet size can significantly affect the eating quality of cooked meat. Medium size/weight fillets have the best eating quality.

Technical Abstract: Increasing breast muscle mass has been the focus of chicken genetic selection in meat line for decades. The practice results in the investigation of effects of growth rates or body weight on sensory quality of cooked chicken breast meat. The objective of the present study was to compare sensory descriptive profiles of cooked broiler breast fillets (pectoralis major) categorized by their size. In four trials, large (average 204 g), medium (153 g), and small fillets (112 g), which were deboned at 6-8 h postmortem, were obtained from a commercial processing plant. Eight sensory texture and ten sensory flavor attributes were evaluated by trained descriptive panelists using a 0-15 universal intensity scale after frozen/thawed samples were cooked to an endpoint temperature of 78oC. For most of the attributes evaluated, there were no differences (p>0.05) between the three size groups. However, differences (p<0.05) were found in average intensity scores for sensory attributes cohesiveness, hardness, juiciness, cardboardy, and sourness among the treatments. The large and small fillets had higher average cohesiveness, hardness, and sourness scores than the medium fillets. The large fillets had higher juiciness score than the small fillets, and small fillets had higher cardboardy score than the medium and large fillets. These results indicate that fillet size by itself can influence both sensory descriptive flavor and texture profiles of chicken breast fillets. Cooked medium fillets have both better sensory flavor and texture quality than cooked small fillets, and better sensory texture quality than cooked large fillets.

Last Modified: 06/24/2017
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