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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 #322237

Title: Effect of marination on color lightness of early-deboned broiler breast fillets varies with raw meat color attributes

item Zhuang, Hong
item Bowker, Brian

Submitted to: LWT - Food Science and Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/22/2016
Publication Date: 1/23/2016
Citation: Zhuang, H., Bowker, B.C. 2016. Effect of marination on color lightness of early-deboned broiler breast fillets varies with raw meat color attributes. LWT - Food Science and Technology. 69:233-235.

Interpretive Summary: INTERPRETIVE SUMMARY Appearance, especially color, of raw meat directly impacts consumer’s selection of the products. It has been documented that in the retail market, color of boneless skinless chicken breast meat varies significantly in a package and the pale color negatively affects consumer’s purchase of boneless skinless chicken breast products. In addition, raw chicken breast color also influences the color of cooked products. Marination is widely used in poultry industry to improve functionality, yield, and eating quality of finish meat products. Here we demonstrated that marination can also significantly affect the color of raw poultry breast meat products that are removed from carcasses in the early stage postmortem. However, the effects depend upon the color, or color lightness, of raw chicken breast meat. For the fillets that look pale, marination can make them darker. For dark color fillets, marination does not have any effect. For normal fillets, marination prevents the color from turning pale. These further suggest that the color variation in raw boneless skinless chicken breast products in marketplace can be reduced by using marination.

Technical Abstract: ABSTRACT The effect of vacuum-tumbling marination on meat color and pH was evaluated in early-deboned chicken breast fillets with different color attributes or color lightness. Broiler breast fillets deboned at 2 h postmortem (PM) were collected from a commercial processing plant based on visual color lightness. Samples were marinated in a vacuum tumbler (-0.6 atm, 16 rpm, 20 min) yielding a targeted 15% uptake. Color values (L*a*b*) were measured on the dorsal side of fillets at 4 h (pre-marination) and 48 h PM (after marination). Lightness (L*) values of broiler fillets selected for the experiment were significantly different between pale (L* = 61.4), normal (L* = 53.1), and dark (L* = 46.5) groups. There was no difference (P > 0.05) in L* values between non-marinated 4h and 48h pale samples. However, for non-marinated normal and dark fillets, L* values increased (P < 0.05) by more than 5 units from 4 to 48 h PM. In pale fillets marination reduced (P < 0.05) L* values at 48 h PM by more than 5 units compared to the non-marinated fillets. For normal fillets, L* values of marinated samples were lower (P < 0.05) than non-marinated controls (by more than 3 units) at 48 h PM but were higher (by more than 1 unit) than that at 4 h PM. There was no significant difference in L* values between marinated samples and controls after 48 h PM in dark fillets. Data demonstrate that the effects of marination on color lightness (or CIELAB L* values) of early-deboned broiler breast meat depend on the initial color attributes of the raw materials. Marination reduces color lightness of pale broiler breast fillets, prevents increases in the color lightness of normal fillets during PM aging, and has no effect on the color lightness of dark fillets.