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Excessive Brine Injection Revealed

by 5m Editor
10 February 2011, at 9:43am

SOUTH AFRICA - Investigations by the agriculture department at a Supreme Poultry plant have revealed the excessive use of brine injection into chicken breast fillets.

BuaNews reports that inspections have revealed that Supreme Poultry, the company at the centre of the frozen chicken controversy, is abusing brine injections in its chickens.

The inspections, which were conducted by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries at the Supreme Poultry plant in Botshabelo, found that brine abuse is a threat to consumer safety.

Normally, this method is only allowed on breast meat, the department said yesterday (9 February). Brine injection is, however, currently used on all portions of poultry meat.

The department said it realised over time that this technique is now being abused by injecting excessive quantities of brine, which range from 30 per cent to 60 per cent in individual quick frozen (IQF) portions.

Interim results from the Agricultural Research Council clearly indicate that brine injection of IQF chicken portions, as practised in South Africa, results in excessive moisture loss during defrosting and cooking of such meat.

The practice also results in nutrient dilution as demonstrated by the lower protein and energy content of the four commercially available IQF portions tested, compared to control portions known not to be injected with brine.

Supreme Poultry made headlines for allegedly thawing, washing, injecting, rebranding, then reselling the chickens with new expiry dates to shopping outlets, concludes the BuaNews report.