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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 #346239

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

Location: Quality and Safety Assessment Research Unit

Title: Assessment of juiciness intensity of cooked chicken pectoralis major

item Zhuang, Hong
item Bowker, Brian
item SAVAGE, ELIZABETH - US Department Of Agriculture (USDA)

Submitted to: Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/10/2017
Publication Date: 10/16/2017
Citation: Zhuang, H., Bowker, B.C., Savage, E.M. 2017. Assessment of juiciness intensity of cooked chicken pectoralis major. Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences. 2017(6):1-9.

Interpretive Summary: Texture quality is one of the most important eating quality attributes in cooked chicken breast meat. Juiciness is a texture attribute that is commonly evaluated by sensory panels with tenderness for assessing eating quality of cooked chicken breast meat. In the past, measurements of the juiciness of cooked chicken breast have been limited to the sensory perception at a particular moment during eating. However, most processes involved in eating, e.g. mastication and salivation, are dynamic processes. Therefore, in this study we investigated juiciness of cooked chicken breast meat during mastication. Results show that the juiciness perception of cooked chicken breast changes significantly during mastication with the greatest juiciness perception in the middle of chewing and the lowest juiciness perception right before swallowing. The initial juiciness perception during mastication is similar to the overall juiciness perception. There is a negative relation between water loss during cooking and the juiciness perception, indicating that reducing water loss during cooking can increase juiciness of cooked chicken breast during eating.

Technical Abstract: The objectives were to assess sensory descriptive juiciness of cooked chicken breast meat (pectoralis major) during the entire process of consumption and to determine the relationship between sensory juiciness intensity scores during eating and raw meat characteristics. Chicken breast fillets were collected from a commercial processing plant and deboned at three different postmortem times (0, 2, and 8 h). Fillets were ground and made into 90-g patties. The patties were stored in a -20oC freezer and were cooked to 78oC directly from the frozen state. The raw meat characteristics were indicated with color, pH, moisture content, and water-holding capacity. Sensory assessment for juiciness was made by a 7-member, trained descriptive panel using a time-intensity (TI) method followed by an overall juiciness perception (or sustained juiciness). TI score curves for cooked chicken fillets followed a similar pattern regardless of deboning time. There was no interaction between deboning time and chewing time and no significant effect of deboning time on juiciness (P > 0.05) regardless of chewing time. During chewing, the highest scores were noticed between 15 and 25 sec, overall. The intensity scores were lower (P < 0.05) at the beginning of consumption and also near swallowing. Juiciness intensity scores in the early evaluation (initial juiciness) were strongly correlated to each other (P < 0.01 and r = 0.79). However, for the intensity scores collected between 20 and 40 bites during chewing, correlations were neither significant (P > 0.01) nor strong (r < 0.70). Sustained juiciness was strongly correlated (P > 0.70) with initial juiciness (< 15 sec). The best linear relationship between juiciness intensity scores and raw meat characteristics measurements was found between the early juiciness scores (< 15 sec) and thaw-cook yield (r > 0.6). Using the TI method for descriptive sensory analysis, these results indicated that the sensation of chicken breast meat juiciness changes during chewing but is not affected by deboning times. Any measurement of the initial juiciness provides intensity scores similar to each other and is a good indicator for sustained juiciness in cooked chicken breast meat regardless of deboning time. Furthermore, thaw-cook yield can potentially be used as an indicator of juiciness in cooked chicken breast meat.