Evaluating How Freezing Rate and Presence of Wooden Breast Affects the Texture of Cooked Chicken

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2020-05
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Gregg, Caroline
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Animal Science

The Department of Animal Science originally concerned itself with teaching the selection, breeding, feeding and care of livestock. Today it continues this study of the symbiotic relationship between animals and humans, with practical focuses on agribusiness, science, and animal management.

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The Department of Animal Husbandry was established in 1898. The name of the department was changed to the Department of Animal Science in 1962. The Department of Poultry Science was merged into the department in 1971.

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Wooden breast (WB) in broiler chickens is an economically detrimental trait due to possible downgrading of product. Freezing condition influences food quality. Air blast freezing is used by commercial meat processors to rapidly freeze product. In comparison, household freezers freeze at a slower rate, resulting in larger ice crystals that can damage muscle cells and reduce quality. This study examined the effects of WB severity and freezing condition on the texture of chicken breast fillets. Whole breast fillets were scored for WB severity: 0 (normal), 1 (mild), and 2 (moderate). Whole breasts per WB severity group (n=6) were split into fillets with coordinating halves going to either a household freezer (HH) (-18oC) or a blast freezer (BF) (-40oC). Once equilibrated, all fillets were stored in a HH for 4 d. Frozen fillets were cooked in an oven and cooled to room temperature. HH had increased freezing loss compared to the AB (P=0.005), and cook loss was altered by the WB severity (P=0.039). Texture analysis (TA-45 incisor probe) was performed on 3 distinct regions across the fillet to measure peak puncture force; however, no differences were observed. The results suggest texture qualities of WB-affected meat are not influenced by freezing condition.
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