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Broiler Carcase Chill Method Affects Pathogens, Not Meat Sensory Quality

21 May 2013

GLOBAL - A new study shows that broiler carcase chilling method (immersion, air or a combination) affected Salmonella and Campylobacter counts, carcase yield and some measures of meat quality but not sensory qualities of breast fillets or drumsticks.

Chilling is a critical step in poultry processing to attain high-quality meat and to meet the USDA-Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) temperature standards.

An international team of researchers led by C.Z. Alvarado of Texas A&M University found that chilling system (immersion, air or a combination) affected Salmonella and Campylobacter counts, carcase yield and some measures of meat quality but not sensory qualities of breast fillets and drums.

This study, published in Poultry Science, was conducted to determine the effects of commercially available chilling systems on quality and safety of broiler meat.

A total of 300 carcases in two replications were randomly selected from a commercial processor and subjected to three systems: immersion chill (IC), air chill (AC) and combi in-line air chill (CIAC). Incidence of Salmonella and Campylobacter were determined on pre- and post-chilled carcases.

Quality of the meat was evaluated by carcass yield, drip loss, cook loss, texture, moisture content, sensory qualities and colour (L*, a*, and b*) of boneless skinless breast fillets and skin-on drums. Shelf life of whole carcases, breast fillets and drums was also determined.

The IC resulted in the most reduction of Salmonella (39.7 per cent) and Campylobacter (43 per cent) incidence due to the washing effect and presence of chlorine in the chilled water. There was no significant difference in shelf-life when comparing the chilling methods.

The IC had the highest (P<0.05) carcase yield (6.5 per cent), followed by CIAC (+1.98 per cent) and then AC (−1.10 per cent).

Drip loss, cook loss and moisture content of breast fillets were not significantly different for all the chilling systems but higher L* value was observed for breast fillets at 24 hours post-mortem treated with IC and CIAC. However, IC exhibited the lightest colour and AC was darkest in the drum samples.

Shear force of breast meat was significantly more tender for AC and CIAC.

There were no differences in the sensory qualities of breast fillets and drums among the three chilling systems, the researchers concluded.

Reference

Demirok E., G. Veluz, W.V. Stuyvenberg, M.P. Castañeda, A. Byrd and C. Z. Alvarado. 2013. Quality and safety of broiler meat in various chilling systems. Poult. Sci. 92(4):1117-1126. doi: 10.3382/ps.2012-02493

Further Reading

You can view the full report (fee payable) by clicking here.

 

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