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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 #343400

Research Project: Assessment and Improvement of Poultry Meat, Egg, and Feed Quality

Location: Quality and Safety Assessment Research Unit

Title: Instrumental texture characteristics of broiler pectoralis major with the woody breast condition

item CHATTERJEE, DEBOLINA - US Department Of Agriculture (USDA)
item Zhuang, Hong
item Bowker, Brian
item RINCON, A - University Of Georgia
item Sanchez Brambila, Gabriela

Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/13/2016
Publication Date: 7/14/2016
Citation: Chatterjee, D., Zhuang, H., Bowker, B.C., Rincon, A.M., Sanchez Brambila, G.Y. 2016. Instrumental texture characteristics of broiler pectoralis major with the woody breast condition. Poultry Science. 95:2449-2454.

Interpretive Summary: The woody breast condition (WBC) is a novel chicken breast muscle and meat disorder. Raw chicken breast fillets with typical WBC are hard to the touch and appear tense or to be contracted. WBC reduces meat quality and customer acceptability and results in downgraded breast meat. The woody breast condition is present in both Europe and the U.S. It can likely affect up to 50% of a flock and is causing significantly economic loss for the poultry industry. Currently, WBC boneless and skinless chicken breast fillets are sorted by their visual appearances and palpable hardness. In the present study we investigate the potential to use instrumental measurements, shear force and compression, to measure the WBC of chicken breast fillets. Our results show that chicken fillets with the WBC also require more shear force to cut though and significantly harder than the normal fillets. These WBC texture properties are not affected by freezing storage. These results suggest that the instrumental measurements, either shear force or compression, can be used to predict the WBC of chicken breast meat and cooked WBC fillets may be significantly tougher than cooked normal fillets.

Technical Abstract: The objective was to characterize texture properties of raw and cooked broiler fillets (pectoralis major) with the woody breast condition (WBC) using instrumental texture techniques Meullenet-Owens Razor Shear (MORS) and texture profile analysis (TPA). Deboned (3 h postmortem) broiler fillets were collected from a commercial plant and grouped into the “Normal”, “Moderate”, and “Severe” WBC based on diffuse hardened areas throughout fillets and severeness of palpable hardness. The grouped fillets were then either stored at 4C overnight or in a -20C freezer. The MORS and TPA of the raw samples were determined at 24 h postmortem for fresh samples and after thawing overnight for frozen samples. The same measurements were also taken after the samples were cooked to 78C. Regardless of freshness, cooking, and severeness of the WBC, both MORS force and energy of the woody samples were significantly higher than that of the normal samples. For TPA adhesiveness, springiness, and resilience, there were no differences between normal and woody samples. However, there were significant differences between them for TPA hardness and chewiness. There were no significant interactions between freshness and woody condition, no significant differences between fresh and frozen samples and between the moderate and severe WBC fillets regardless of texture measurement. These results demonstrate that there are significant differences in instrumental texture properties between normal and the WBC breast. The WBC muscle needs more force to cut through and is harder than the normal breast muscle. Freezing did not significantly affect the relationship. These results also suggest that there are positive relationship between the palpable hardness and shear measurements and TPA hardness in broiler fillets. Cooked WBC meat would be tougher than cooked normal meat.