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Meat Sci. 2002 May;61(1):49-54.

Raw-meat packaging and storage affect the color and odor of irradiated broiler breast fillets after cooking.

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Department of Animal Science, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-3150, USA.


Raw breast fillets were divided into two groups and either vacuum or aerobically packaged. The fillets in each group were subdivided equally into two groups and then irradiated at 0 or 3 kGy using a Linear Accelerator. After 0, 3 and 7 days of storage at 4 °C, fillets were cooked in an 85 °C water bath (cook-in-bag) to an internal temperature of 74 °C. Oxidation-reduction potential (ORP) of raw fillets was measured before cooking, and color and sensory characteristics were analyzed after cooking. Irradiation decreased the ORP of meat, but the potential in aerobically packaged fillets increased during storage. After cooking, color a*-value of irradiated fillets was higher than that of the non-irradiated. Irradiation of raw meat also changed color L* and b* values after cooking. Aerobic storage reduced the redness of cooked meat induced by irradiation. Irradiated raw broiler fillets stored for 0 day and 3 day under aerobic conditions before cooking produced a oxidized chicken-like odor. The odor, however, disappeared after 7 days of storage under aerobic conditions before cooking. For raw broiler samples stored under vacuum conditions, significant differences in color and odor between irradiated and non-irradiated fillets remained throughout the 7-day storage period after cooking. Irradiation had only a minor influence on lipid oxidation of raw breast fillets as indicated by low TBARS values. This study indicates that the effect of irradiation on color and odor of broiler breast fillets after cooking can be reduced significantly through shelf-display of raw fillets under aerobic conditions. Storage under vacuum conditions before cooking is not effective in reducing irradiation-induced changes in the color and odor of breast fillet after cooking.


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