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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Quality and Safety Assessment Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #318895

Title: Frequency and temperature dependence of dielectric properties of chicken meat

item Trabelsi, Samir

Submitted to: IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/20/2012
Publication Date: 5/15/2012
Citation: Trabelsi, S. 2012. Frequency and temperature dependence of dielectric properties of chicken meat. IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement. p. 1515-1518.

Interpretive Summary: Quality attributes of chicken meat are of interest to both producers and consumers. They are often assessed through measurement of physical properties, including color, pH, water holding capacity, drip loss, cook yield and texture. These procedures are time-consuming and require various types of costly instruments. Since chicken meat is about 70% water, dielectric properties may be useful for rapid assessment of chicken meat quality. Therefore, to provide dielectric background information, the dielectric properties of fresh chicken meat were measured over a broad frequency range between 200 MHz and 20 GHz and at temperatures ranging from -20 degree C to +25 degree C to learn their dependence on frequency and temperature. Both the frequency dependence and temperature dependence will be needed in understanding the dielectric behavior of poultry meat and ultimately lead to identifying correlations between the dielectric properties and quality attributes. The frequency and temperature dependence of dielectric properties of chicken breast meat revealed the influence of ionic conduction and binding status of water molecules on its dielectric behavior. Variations of dielectric constant with frequency show a slope change at about 4 GHz which is indicative of two relaxations, with one taking place in the lower frequency range, totally masked by the effect of ionic conduction. However, the second relaxation is distinct and broad, and takes place at about 10 GHz, which is lower that of liquid water (19 GHz at 25 degree C). The temperature dependence shows a sharp increase at about 0 degree C, which is typical of the transition in the water phase from ice-like status to free water. This knowledge will be useful in further research on detection of meat quality with microwave measurement techniques.

Technical Abstract: Dielectric properties of chicken breast meat were measured with an open-ended coaxial-line probe between 200 MHz and 20 GHz at temperatures ranging from -20 degree C to +25 degree C. At a given temperature, the frequency dependence of the dielectric constant reveals two relaxations while those of the dielectric loss factor are dominated by ionic conduction in the lower range and a broad dipolar relaxation at higher frequencies. At a given frequency, the temperature dependence reveals a sharp increase of dielectric properties at about 0 degree C which is typical of materials with high water content and indicates the transition from ice-like behavior to liquid. Both frequency and temperature behavior will be used in investigating correlations of dielectric properties with quality attributes of chicken meat.