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 #357915

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

Location: Quality and Safety Assessment Research Unit

Title: Use of blade tenderization to improve wooden breast meat texture

item TASONIERO, GIULIA - Oak Ridge Institute For Science And Education (ORISE)
item Bowker, Brian
item STELZLENI, ALEX - University Of Georgia
item Zhuang, Hong
item RIGDON, MACC - University Of Georgia
item THIPPAREDDI, HARSHAVARDHAN - University Of Georgia

Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/18/2019
Publication Date: 4/2/2019
Citation: Tasoniero, G., Bowker, B.C., Stelzleni, A., Zhuang, H., Rigdon, M., Thippareddi, H. 2019. Use of blade tenderization to improve wooden breast meat texture. Poultry Science.

Interpretive Summary: The wooden breast (WB) myopathy causes undesirable cooked meat texture attributes in chicken breast meat. This study found that blade tenderization significantly improved breast meat tenderness. However, instrumental texture analyses highlighted the limited extent of BT benefits when this technique is not combined with other tenderizing strategies. Therefore, blade tenderization alone may not be able to fully resolve the issue of hardness and abnormal texture attributes in WB meat in intact muscle products.

Technical Abstract: The effectiveness of blade tenderization (BT) in improving the texture of raw and cooked wooden breast (WB) meat was evaluated through compression and shear force analyses. A total of 144 butterfly fillets were collected during three sampling repetitions and scored as normal (N), moderate (WB MOD) or severe wooden breast (WB SEV). One side from each butterfly was blade tenderized and the other side served as an untreated control. Fillets were subjected to compression and shear analyses in either the raw state or after they were cooked, stored overnight, and analyzed 48 h post mortem. At 24 h postmortem, drip loss, pH, and color traits were also assessed on fillets. The effects of muscle condition (M), treatment (T), measurement location (L) and their interactions were investigated. Irrespective of the degree of severity, WB fillets were heavier (P < 0.0001) and possessed higher pH (P < 0.0001) than normal fillets. L*a*b* values on the skin-side of fillets were increased in WB groups (P < 0.0001), as were drip and cooking losses (P < 0.0001). Irrespective of the degree of severity, WB meat was harder as evidenced by greater compression force (P < 0.0001). The shear force of the raw meat progressively increased from N to WB SEV (P < 0.0001) but there were no differences detected between N and WB MOD after cooking. Blade tenderization improved WB raw and cooked meat tenderness (P < 0.01). The significance of the location effect for compression force (P < 0.0001) suggests that WB texture is not uniform within the same fillet. In raw fillets a significant M × T interaction (P < 0.0001) was found for both compression and shear values indicating that blade-tenderized WB MOD and WB SEV still possess a harder texture than normal meat. Therefore, blade tenderization improved, but did not resolve the issue of hardness in WB meat.