Evaluation of differences in normal and pale broiler breast meat through analysis of important quality attributes and by protein analysis
Samuel, Dora Darlene
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Recent research has shown that the poultry industry is facing similar problems with meat quality that resemble the pale,soft, and exudative (PSE) condition in pigs. Although the condition and its causes have been established in pork, the incidence in broiler breast meat has not been fully explained. Thus, the overall objective of this study was to investigate the occurrence of PSE in broilers by examining potential causes and quality indicators. Color and pH of boneless, skinless, broiler breast meat obtained from two commercial processing plants were measured. Production and processing factors for each sample were recorded and correlated to quality parameters. The L* values were heavily influenced by several factors such as grower, age, and bird weight. The research also showed an increase in L* values compared to previous research, with a* values having a greater correlation between the production and processing factors than the L* values. Color measurements, pH, and water holding capacity studies were completed to evaluate the impact selection for growth had on the quality of the meat. Results showed that the heavier birds with a higher growth rate exhibited a higher occurrence of pale birds than the lighter birds with a slower growth rate. L* values greater than 60 were observed in 57% of birds selected for greater yield and in 26% of slower growing birds. Samples from normal and pale broiler breast fillets were analyzed using SDS-PAGE, water holding capacity and protein solubility studies. Results showed that pale broiler breast meat exhibited lower water holding capacity, protein solubility, and pH values. The presence and intensity of protein bands on SDS-PAGE were similar in water soluble and salt soluble extracts from pale and normal muscle. A peptide that migrated to the molecular weight of phosphorylase was consistently present in myofibrillar fractions of both normal and pale broiler breast fillets. Because there are no definitive solutions for eradicating the occurrence of PSE in broilers, NIRS was examined as a tool for rapidly determining water holding capacity. Results suggested that NIRS had the potential to predict water holding capacity in broiler breast meat.