Meat Quality and Sensory Attributes of a Conventional and a Label Rouge-type Broiler Strain

Cooked thigh meat from conventionally reared broilers scored higher than that from Label Rouge-type alternatives for most of the sensory attributes, according to new research from the US. Strain differences for cooked breast were minimal.
calendar icon 20 August 2012
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Some consumers have reported preferences for meat from alternative broiler strains as compared with meat from conventional broiler strains relative to taste and texture but relatively few objective measurements have been conducted on these particular strains, according to Doug Smith of North Carolina State University and co-authors at Clemson University in the US.

In a paper published recently in Poultry Science, they compared directly meat quality from a Label Rouge-type alternative and a conventional broiler strain available at retail, using four ready-to-cook conventional and six alternative strain carcasses were obtained from retail or a processing plant on each of six days.

Boneless skinless breast fillets and boneless thighs were taken from each carcass and weighed. Raw meat was then assigned to different testing lots for cooking to evaluate yield, objective texture, meat colour, sensory profile and proximate composition (percentage protein, moisture, fat and ash).

Analyses of data revealed no significant difference (P<0.05) due to broiler strain for percentage protein, moisture, fat and ash for either breast or thigh meat.

Conventional breast (raw and cooked) weights were significantly higher than the alternative strain but there was no difference in cooked yield.

There were no differences between strain for thigh weights or yield. Both thigh and breast meat from the conventional broilers were more tender than meat from alternative broilers.

Cooked conventional breast meat was darker and yellower, whereas cooked thigh was lighter, less red and more yellow than alternative meat.

Sensory analysis found no difference between strains for breast meat attributes. Conventional thigh meat scored higher than alternative for appearance, tenderness, juiciness and how well the panellists liked the appearance but there was no difference in after-taste or overall liking.

Minimal differences were observed for cooked breast meat due to strain, concluded Smith and co-authors but conventional cooked thigh meat scored higher than the thigh meat from the Label Rouge-type alternative for most of the sensory attributes.


Smith D.P., J.K. Northcutt and E.L. Steinberg. 2012. Meat quality and sensory attributes of a conventional and a Label Rouge-type broiler strain obtained at retail. Poult. Sci., 91(6): 1489-1495. doi: 10.3382/ps.2011-01891

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August 2012
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