Strain Impacts Chicken Quality

US - Scientists report that the quality of early-deboned chicken differs between broiler strains.

A cooperative research project at the University of Arkansas and Auburn University revealed that the tenderness of cooked breast meat – deboned two hours after slaughter – differed significantly between five common commercial broiler strains.

The research team, which included J.M. Mehaffey of the University of Arkansas and J.F. Meullenet of Auburn University, pointed out that the increasing consumer demand for boneless chicken breast meat has forced processors to shorten the aging time for broiler carcasses before further processing, such as deboning. However, removing muscle from the bone before normal post-mortem physiological processes are complete can result in loss of tenderness and cooking yield.

The researchers slaughtered a total of 1,040 broilers aged 6-7 weeks of age from five common commercial broiler strains. The strains differed in growth rate and body weight at slaughter. The carcasses were deboned at either two-hours (early deboned) or four hours (traditionally deboned). Breast meat samples were subjected to various measurements, including yield, drip-loss, cooking yield, and tenderness.

calendar icon 26 June 2006
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