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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Quality & Safety Assessment Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #368414

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

Location: Quality & Safety Assessment Research

Title: Relationships between instrumental texture measurements and subjective woody breast condition scores in raw broiler breast fillets

Author
item PANG, BIN - Qingdao Agricultural University
item Bowker, Brian
item YANG, YI - China Agricultural University
item ZHANG, JIAN - Beijing Academy Of Agricultural Sciences
item Zhuang, Hong

Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/3/2019
Publication Date: 3/19/2020
Citation: Pang, B., Bowker, B.C., Yang, Y., Zhang, J., Zhuang, H. 2020. Relationships between instrumental texture measurements and subjective woody breast condition scores in raw broiler breast fillets. Poultry Science 99(6):3292-3298. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psj.2019.12.072.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psj.2019.12.072

Interpretive Summary: The woody breast (WB) condition is an emerging muscle disorder in broiler breast meat. The key characteristic of the WB meat distinguishing it from normal breast meat is palpable hardness throughout raw broiler breast fillets. Currently, in commercial processing plants and research, subjective scoring is still the predominant method used to categorize chicken fillets with the WB condition. Because tactile properties of raw chicken breast meat are considered as criterion for WB identification, several instrumental texture measurements, such as compression force and razor shear have been tested for assessing the degree of the WB condition in raw chicken fillets. Although a consistent correlation between the WB condition and instrumental texture measurements have been widely demonstrated, there is a lack of comparisons of commonly used instrumental texture methods for predicting the palpable evaluation of severity of the WB condition in raw chicken breast meat. Therefore, the objective of this study was to compare different instrumental texture measurements of raw meat for means separation between WB categories and for relationship between the instrumental texture measurements and the subjective scores of the WB condition. Our results showed that the best means separations between subjective WB scores were found with the compression method. Although linear correlation coefficients showed that there were significant relationships between WB scores and any of instrumental measurements, the strongest correlations also existed between subjective WB scores and compression force measurements. These results show that instrumental texture measurements can be used as references for subjective WB scores of raw chicken breast meat. Compression method has the best potential for the assessments.

Technical Abstract: The objective of this study was to compare the relationships between instrumental texture measurements and subjective woody breast (WB) scores in raw broiler breast fillets. A total of 181 broiler breast fillets were scored based on palpable hardness and rigidity ranging from 1.0 to 3.0 in 0.5 increments. Texture properties of raw fillets were measured with 3 different instrumental methods: compression, blunt Meullenet-Owens Razor Shear (BMORS), and Meullenet-Owens Razor Shear (MORS). Compression force was measured based on % of fillet height (30%) and distance (10 mm). BMORS and MORS measurements included peak force, energy, and peak counts. One-way ANOVA of instrumental texture measurements were performed. Spearman correlations between WB scores and instrumental texture measurements and Pearson correlations between three instrumental measurements were analyzed. ANOVA results showed that the best means separations between WB scores were found with the compression method. The weakest means separations were observed with MORS force and BMORS peak counts. Spearman correlation coefficients showed that there were significant relationships between WB scores and instrumental measurements. The strongest correlations were found between subjective WB scores and compression measurements (r = 0.58-0.73, P < 0.0001), followed by BMORS force and energy (r = 0.55-0.56, P < 0 .0001), MORS energy and peak count (r = 0.47-0.50, P < 0 .0001), and BMORS peak count (r = -0.18, P = 0.015). The weakest correlation was found between the WB scores and MORS force (r = 0.17, P = 0.023). Pearson correlation coefficients between three different instrumental texture methods were also significant (P < 0.0001). These results demonstrate that there are significant correlations between subjective WB scores and instrumental texture measurements but that correlation strength varies with instrumental method. Instrumental texture measurements can be used as references for subjective WB scores. Compression method has the best potential for assessing subjective WB condition scores.