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Effects of Broiler Carcass Scalding and Chilling Methods on Quality of Breast Fillets

25 June 2013

Broiler carcass chilling method has a much greater impact on the quality of breast meat than scalding method, according to researcher based in Athens, Georgia, and the influence of chilling on breast meat quality was independent of scalding treatment.

The impacts of scalding and chilling methods on quality of broiler breast fillets (pectoralis major) have been evaluated by Hong Zhuang of the Russell Research Center in Athens, Georgia and co-authors there and at the University of Georgia.

In a paper in Poultry Science, they report that, in four replications, six- to seven-week-old male and female broilers were slaughtered and scalded either at 60°C for 1.5 minutes (hard scalding) or 52.8°C for 3.0 minutes (soft scalding).

Following evisceration, the carcasses were either air-chilled (at 0.5°C for 120 minutes) or immersion-chilled in water and ice (79 litres per carcass at 0.5°C for 40 minutes and air-agitated). Breast fillets were removed from the carcass within four hours post-mortem.

Quality attributes including fillet colour (both dorsal-bone and ventral-skin sides), pH, total moisture content, water-holding capacity (drip loss and cook loss) and Warner-Bratzler shear force were determined.

Significant interactions between replication and scalding were found for pH, ventral side redness (a*) value and cook loss and between replication and chilling for pH and ventral side a* and yellowness (b*) values.

There were no interactions (P>0.05) between chilling and scalding methods for any of the measurements.

Immersion chilling resulted in higher (P<0.05) ventral side lightness (L*) values, dorsal side b* values, drip loss, cook loss and shear force compared with air chilling.

No significant differences (P>0.05) between the two scalding methods were observed for any of the quality attributes.

Zhong and co-authors say their results indicate that broiler carcass chilling method has a much greater impact on quality of breast meat than scalding method and that the influence of chilling on breast meat quality is independent of scalding treatment.


Zhuang H., B.C. Bowker, R.J. Buhr, D.V. Bourassa and B.H. Kiepper. 2013. Effects of broiler carcass scalding and chilling methods on quality of early-deboned breast fillets. Poult. Sci. 92(5):1393-1399. doi: 10.3382/ps.2012-02814

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June 2013

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