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Poult Sci. 2005 Mar;84(3):479-81.

Research note: Functionality of electrically stimulated broiler breast meat.

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Department of Poultry Science Texas A&M University College Station, Texas 77843-2472, USA.


Postmortem electrical stimulation (ES) tenderizes meat by acceleration of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) depletion, pH decline, and physical disruption of muscle fibers. It has been demonstrated that rigor development at elevated temperatures, as with slow chilling, can cause meat to develop pale color and poor water-holding capacity. The objective of this study was to compare the functionality of broiler breast meat from control and electrically stimulated carcasses with and without normal rapid chilling. Broilers were either electrically stimulated (450 mA, 450 V, 2 s on, 2 s off for 7 pulses) immediately after bleeding or used as nonstimulated controls. The ES birds were either chilled immediately (ES2) or had chilling delayed for 2 h at room temperature (ESD2). All ES breast fillets were harvested at 2 h postmortem. The control carcasses were chilled immediately and had fillets harvested at 2 h postmortem (C2) or at 8 h postmortem (C8). Electrical stimulation accelerated pH decline and prevented toughening when breast meat was deboned at 2 h postmortem, regardless of chilling rate. The water released from the gels during cooking was higher for the ESD2 than the ES2 group, which was not different from the C2 group, suggesting that ES followed by slow chilling reduced water-holding capacity compared with the ES2 and C2 groups. There were no differences in expressible moisture, gel strength, or lightness among the ES2, ESD2, and C2 treatments. These results indicated that high voltage ES followed by normal chilling did not impair protein functionality or cause pale, soft, exudative meat. However, there was some evidence that slow chilling after ES may negatively affect some water-holding properties of the meat.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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