Radio-frequency application in preheating of marinated chicken breast meat
Deshpande, Deepti P.
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Radio-frequency (RF) cooking is a form of dielectric heating in which products are heated by subjecting them to an alternating electric field between two electrodes, often parallel electrodes. In this study, the process of preheating marinated chicken breast meat was optimized with a 6 kW radio-frequency oven. The denaturation temperatures of chicken breast meat and its constituent proteins were determined by using a differential 0Scanning Calorimeter. The samples were heated from 10 to 100C at the heating rate of 010C/min. This thermal denaturation study further helped in designing a scheduled heating sequence for cooking of chicken breast meat in an RF oven and resulted in the most juicy cooked meat. RF preheating process was optimized by controlling various parameters like the distance between electrodes, thickness of the product between two parallel plate electrodes and the design of the product carrier. The best method for presenting the product to the RF field was moving the product carrier through the electrodes by the conveyor belt so that the product was exposed to the RF field while in motion. This system ensures better heating uniformity of the product. A plastic material transparent to RF waves made of polyetherimide, known as Ultem®, was procured and used as product carrier. The cooked meat yields were determined as a function of programmed preheating of marinated meat in the RF oven, followed by final cooking of the product in a conventional air oven. Warner-Bratzler shear test were performed on cooked samples to determine the quality of RF preheated product.