Occurrence of White Striping under Commercial Conditions and its Impact on Breast Meat Quality in Broiler Chickens

Researchers in Italy found that 12 per cent of the chicken breasts surveyed showed at least some degree of white striping, a defect of the meat which they also found to adversely affect the quality of breast meat.
calendar icon 29 July 2013
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In Poultry Science, M. Petracci and colleagues at the University of Bologna in Italy have published a paper describing their study, which aimed to evaluate the incidence of white striping (WS) under commercial conditions and assess its effect on some quality traits in broiler breast fillets.

In the first experiment, occurrence of WS (absence = normal; presence classified in 2 levels as moderate or severe) was assessed in a major commercial processing plant on 28,000 breast fillets (pectoralis major muscles) chosen at random from 56 flocks of broilers processed at 45 to 54 days of age.

In the second experiment, 153 fillets were selected based on WS degree (normal, moderate, or severe) and used to assess ultimate pH, colour, drip loss, cook loss and Allo-Kramer-shear force on raw meat as well to determine marinade uptake, purge loss, cook loss, total yield and Allo-Kramer-shear force after tumbling with a 15 per cent (wt/wt) solution containing sodium tripolyphosphate (2.3 per cent) and sodium chloride (7.6 per cent).

The total incidence of white striped breast fillets was 12.0 per cent (8.9 and 3.1 per cent in moderate and severe degree, respectively).

Considering the effect of genotype, high-breast yield hybrids exhibited a higher overall incidence of WS compared with standard breast yield birds (15.2 versus 10.0 per cent; P≤0.001). Severe fillets showed higher pH than moderate and normal groups (5.95 versus 5.88 and 5.86; P≤0.05).

Fillets with severe and moderate WS also exhibited lower marinade uptake compared with normal fillets (7.92 versus 10.97 versus 12.67 per cent; P≤0.05).

Moreover, cook losses increased as the degree of WS increased from normal to severe groups in both raw (21.27 versus 23.20 versus 26.74 per cent; P≤0.05) and marinated meat (14.59 and 14.84 versus 15.93 per cent; P≤0.05).

Finally, non-marinated fillets with severe striping had lower Allo-Kramer-shear force than with moderate and normal ones (3.69 versus 4.41 and 4.91kg per g; P≤0.05).

Petracci and co-authors say their study reveals the importance achieved by WS defects in the production of broiler meat as well as its very negative impact on water-holding and binding capacity of breast meat.


M. Petracci, S. Mudalal, A. Bonfiglio and C. Cavani. 2013. Occurrence of white striping under commercial conditions and its impact on breast meat quality in broiler chickens. Poult. Sci. 92(6):1670-1675. doi: 10.3382/ps.2012-03001

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July 2013

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