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Poult Sci. 1998 Feb;77(2):361-6.

The relationship of broiler breast color to meat quality and shelf-life.

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Department of Poultry Science, The University of Georgia, Athens 30602-2772, USA.


A total of three experiments were conducted to compare physical and microbiological properties of raw and marinated broiler breast fillets selected as being either lighter or darker than normal. Visibly light- and dark-colored breast fillets were divided into marinated and control groups, and vacuum-tumbled for 20 min at 4 C under 80 kPa pressure. Breast fillets from the four treatment groups were evaluated for shear values, raw and cooked meat pH, drip-loss, cook-loss, water-holding capacity, and 7 d psychrotrophic count. The light-colored fillets were significantly lighter, less red, and more yellow than the dark fillets. Lightness values increased when fillets were marinated. Moreover, the light fillets had a lower pH than dark fillets. The pH values of raw and cooked breast meat were related to meat color but not marination. Dark-colored fillets had significantly higher marination pick-up and a higher fraction of bound moisture and significantly lower drip and cook-loss. No differences were observed in shear values between color or marination treatments. There were no significant differences in psychrotrophic plate counts (PPC) or capacitance detection times (CDT) due to color or treatment at Day 1. After 7 d of storage at 4 C, PPC was significantly lower for marinated samples. No correlations were observed between pH and PPC, CDT, or odor. Based on these differences in physical and microbiological properties, further processors may consider separating breast fillets according to color.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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