Broiler strain impacts meat quality
US scientists have reported that the quality of early-deboned chicken
differs between broiler strains.
Researchers conducted by the University of Arkansas and Auburn University
showed that cooked breast meat - deboned two hours after slaughter - differed
significantly in tenderness between five common commercial broiler
Increasing consumer demand for boneless chicken breast meat
is forcing 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
The researchers reported that breast meat yield for the
early deboned carcasses differed significantly between the strains. However,
growth rate had no impact on breast meat yield. Drip-loss and cooking loss also
differed between the strains. The heaviest weight strains appeared to have the
greatest losses compared to the lightest strain. Likewise, the breast meat
deboned early from the lightest-strain broilers was significantly more tender
than the breast meat from the heaviest strains of broilers.
researchers concluded: "The increasingly common practice of early deboning may
affect meat quality, especially meat tenderness, of broiler strains differently,
resulting in greater variation within the
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