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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 #368077

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

Location: Quality and Safety Assessment Research Unit

Title: Effect of Spaghetti Meat Abnormality on Broiler Chicken Breast Meat Composition and Technological Quality

item TASONIERO, GIULIA - Oak Ridge Institute For Science And Education (ORISE)
item Zhuang, Hong
item Gamble, Gary
item Bowker, Brian

Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/24/2019
Publication Date: 2/5/2020
Citation: Tasoniero, G., Zhuang, H., Gamble, G.R., Bowker, B.C. 2020. Effect of Spaghetti Meat Abnormality on Broiler Chicken Breast Meat Composition and Technological Quality. Poultry Science 99(3):1724-1733.

Interpretive Summary: A myopathy known as "spaghetti meat" has recently been recognized to occur in the breast meat of modern broilers. This myopathy is characterized by extreme muscle bundle separation on the surface of the muscle. Findings from this study demonstrate that the myopathy alters the proximate composition of the muscle and decreases functionality traits of the meat. Furthermore, these data demonstrate that the condition is not uniform throughout the muscle.

Technical Abstract: The effects of Spaghetti Meat (SM) myopathy and sampling location on chicken breast meat physical traits, composition and protein functionality were investigated using 30 normal (N) and 30 SM boneless fillets. Weight, drip loss, pH and color traits were determined on intact fillets. Proximate composition, water holding capacity, mineral profile, SDS-PAGE, myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic protein solubility and emulsifying properties were assessed on both the superficial (S) and deep (D) layers of the breasts. SM fillets were heavier (P < 0.0001), exhibited greater drip loss (P = 0.0131) and higher b* index on the skin side of the muscle (P < 0.0001). Muscle condition by layer interaction effect revealed that the superficial portion of SM fillets (SM-S) exhibited the highest moisture (P = 0.0003) and fat contents (P = 0.0011) coupled with the lowest protein (P < 0.0001) and ash contents (P = 0.0458). Total and soluble collagen amounts were higher in N-S and SM-S groups compared to N-D and SM-D (P < 0.0001). SM-S group exhibited the highest calcium (P = 0.0035) and sodium (P < 0.0001) levels. Overall, the myopathy had only minor impacts on protein profiles, while the muscle layer exerted a more remarkable effect. SM fillets exhibited higher pH but a lower myofibrillar protein solubility (P < 0.0001). Salt-induced water uptake, cook loss and final yield values suggested a potential impairment of water-holding capacity in affected meat. Sarcoplasmic and myofibrillar emulsion activity indexes were similar between the two muscle conditions, but the stability of the emulsions was lower in SM meat. Overall, significant layer and muscle condition by layer effects were not observed in the functional properties of the breast meat. SM exerted a profound and negative impact on breast meat composition that led to detrimental consequences on functionality traits. Given the fundamental role of protein quality for meat processing, these data suggest that a further step toward the understanding of this myopathy should be the investigation of intrinsic protein characteristics.