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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Quality Safety and Assessment Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #374315

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

Location: Quality Safety and Assessment Research

Title: Comparison of three methods used for estimating cook loss in broiler breast meat

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

Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Research Notes
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/10/2020
Publication Date: 11/1/2020
Citation: Pang, B., Bowker, B.C., Zhuang, H., Yang, Y., Zhang, J. 2020. Comparison of three methods used for estimating cook loss in broiler breast meat. Poultry Science,99: 6287-6290, ISSN 0032-5791.

Interpretive Summary: Cook loss of meat is an important meat quality attribute and commonly used to show how well meat can hold moisture during cooking process. Cook loss directly influences the yield and also eating quality of further-processed meat products. Therefore, estimation of cook loss provides essential information about meat behaviors during further processing and post-processing handling and meat quality after processing. Currently three methods are used to estimate cook loss of chicken breast meat in research. One method referred to as the “5-min” method, requires the cooked samples to be removed from the heat and cooled at room temperature for only 5 minutes prior to obtaining the post-cook weight. Another method referred to as the “room temperature (RT)” method requires that the temperature of the cooked samples passively reach ambient temperature before re-weighing. The third method referred to as the iced water method (IW) uses ice water immersion to rapidly cool the cooked samples to ambient temperature prior to re-weighing. There is a lack of comparisons of these three methods in estimating cook loss in chicken breast meat. the objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of the different methods on estimation of cook loss in broiler breast fillets. Our results show that cook loss estimates can vary due to cook loss estimating methods and that differences between cook loss estimation methods depend upon the cooking temperature at the end. Cook loss estimate by the 5-min method is similar to that by the RT if the meat temperature is 75 or above at the end. However, the estimate by the IW method is significantly lower than that by the other two methods. This indicates that in application the IW method can be used to increase yield of pre-cooked poultry meat products.

Technical Abstract: The objective of this study was to evaluate different methods used for estimating cook loss in broiler breast fillets (pectoralis major). Two experiments were conducted. In the first experiment, intact fillets were weighed, cooked to 75°C, and then subjected to one of three post-cook handling treatments: cooling for 5 min at room temperature before re-weighing (5-min), cooling at room temperature until they reached room temperature before re-weighing (RT), or cooling in ice water until they reached room temperature before re-weighing (IW). In the second experiment, breast fillet portions were used to compare the effects of endpoint temperature (53, 57, 68, 75, or 90°C) on cook loss estimation by the 5-min and RT methods. Breast fillets were collected from local chicken processing plants and trimmed to similar weight prior to cooking. Cook loss, cook loss retention, and total cook loss after 24 h in cooked fillets were measured for comparisons. Data showed that cook loss (<17%) and total loss (19.3%) estimated with the IW method were lower (P < 0.05) than those with the 5-min and RT methods (19-21% for cook loss and 21.1-21.3% for total loss), which did not differ from each other. When the endpoint temperature was = 75', no differences in cook loss estimates or moisture loss were noted between the 5-min and RT methods (after 3 h cooling). However, when the temperatures were 53-75oC, cook loss estimations were significantly different (P < 0.05) between the 5-min and RT methods (more than 4%). Reduced endpoint temperature resulted in increasing differences (from less than 5% to more than 9%) in cook loss estimates. These results demonstrate that endpoint cooking temperature and post-cooking sample handling methods may affect cook loss estimates in broiler breast meat.