Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Quality and Safety Assessment Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #315383

Title: Muscle fiber characteristics of broiler breast fillets with the wooden breast condition.

item Bowker, Brian
item VIMINI, ROBERT - Perdue Farms

Submitted to: Poultry Science Association Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/28/2015
Publication Date: 7/27/2015
Citation: Bowker, B.C., Vimini, R. 2015. Muscle fiber characteristics of broiler breast fillets with the wooden breast condition.. Poultry Science Association Meeting Abstract. VOLUME 94(E-Suppl. 1), page 169-170. [abstract 519P].

Interpretive Summary: none

Technical Abstract: Broiler breast fillets exhibiting the wooden breast condition are described as having a rigid feel and abnormal texture attributes; however, changes at the muscle fiber level in wooden breast fillets are not well understood. The objective of this study was to compare the histochemical muscle fiber and tissue characteristics of normal and wooden breast fillets. Broilers from a high yielding commercial line were slaughtered at 7 and 8 weeks old and breast fillets (Pectoralis major) were removed and categorized as normal (n = 80) or wooden (n = 20). For histochemical analysis, muscle strips were removed from the cranial portion of each fillet, frozen in liquid nitrogen, and cross-sectioned. Muscle sections were then stained using a succinate dehydrogenase, myosin ATPase, and hematoxylin combination staining procedure. Muscle fiber cross-sectional area, muscle fiber type, and indicators of muscle degeneration/regeneration were recorded. Both the normal and wooden breast fillets similarly exhibited the predominantly fast glycolytic muscle fiber type composition characteristic of broiler breast meat (approximately 97% fast glycolytic fibers). The average cross-sectional areas of the fast glycolytic muscle fibers, however, were approximately 15% greater in the wooden breast samples compared to the normal fillets. Compared to the muscle tissue from normal fillets, muscle tissue from wooden breast fillets exhibited a greater prevalence of necrotic muscle fibers and hyper-contracted giant fibers and increased evidence of monocyte invasion in the tissue. These data suggest that increased muscle fiber size and muscle tissue changes related to muscle fiber degeneration may contribute to the abnormal texture characteristics of broiler breast fillets exhibiting the wooden breast condition.