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The Poultry Food System: A Farm to Table Model


<OL> <LI> To improve consumer safety, consumer acceptance and the commercial profitability of poultry meat and eggs by improving or reducing critical problems associated with the quality of poultry meat and eggs, specifically color, flavor, or texture of the product, and the safety of poultry meat and eggs. Specifically colonization, contamination, and subsequent pathogen growth. <LI>To better understand and eliminate the negative impact of irradiation on poultry meat quality.<LI>To better understand how production and processing factors impact the safety of poultry products.

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APPROACH: Various antimicrobial chemical compounds will be evaluated for control of spoilage and pathogenic organisms on raw and fully cooked poultry products. Both shelf life of treated products as measured by aerobic plate count and destruction of potential human pathogens will be determined. Pathogens of interest include Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria, and specific E.Coli.

PROGRESS: 1999/10 TO 2006/09<BR>
Several studies were conducted to evaluate factors that influence meat quality attributes. Projects included the development of a new shearing method for assessing meat tenderness, the assessment of factors influencing pale, soft, and exudative broiler meat, the evaluation of slow growing broilers raised with outdoor access and commercial fast growing broilers for niche markets, and the use of marination to improve meat tenderness and other sensory attributes. A new shearing method, Meullenet-Owens Razor Shear (MORS), was developed. The MORS method exhibited a higher correlation to sensory attributes than the AK or WB method suggesting that the new razor blade shear method is superior in predicting poultry meat tenderness to the standard AK or WB shear method. Further, the total energy value obtained in this test is more useful in predicting tenderness than maximum force. Broilers subjected to elevated temperatures had a more rapid rigor development and decreased meat quality as indicated by more pale meat with lower water holding capacity. The use of halothane and succinylcholine as a field test to identify broilers prone to developing PSE meat was not effective. Using the modified food starch in combination with the salt/STP marinade improved water holding capacity of pale meat whereas the other treatments did not. Field performance, meat yield, and meat quality of fast-growing commercial broiler chickens and slower-growing broiler chickens were evaluated. All strains were raised indoors with or without outdoor access. Data indicated that substantial growth performance and yield differences exist among breeds, and valuable information is provided about the potential efficiency of meat production for alternative poultry systems. Moreover, these data indicate that meat quality differences may exist among breeds with different growth rates and reared with or without outdoor access. All marinated treatments were significantly more tender than non-marinated controls. Using instrumental tenderness analysis, salt concentrations above 1.0% were more tender than other treatments; however, all marinated treatments were significantly more tender than non-marinated controls. Using the hedonic scale, there was no significant difference in marinated products (0.5% to 1.25% salt) for overall impression, flavor, and texture. However, fillets with the higher concentrations of salt (1 and 1.25%) resulted in high percentages of consumers who considered the product too salty. For juiciness and tenderness, a large percentage (>70%) of the consumers considered 0.5%, 0.75%, and 1% treatments to be just about right. The results indicate that marination of pre-rigor deboned meat is effective in producing product similar to marinated post-rigor deboned meat. While meat marinated with higher concentrations of salt may give more desirable levels of tenderness, there is a greater chance of a negative impact on flavor and saltiness in the end product. Furthermore, it is possible to marinate with lower concentrations of salt while still improving meat characteristics and keeping ingredient costs low.
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IMPACT: 1999/10 TO 2006/09<BR>
Short term strategies to reduce and/or improve PSE meat include reducing environmental stress, sorting meat based on color and using non-meat ingredients such as modified food starch to improve water holding capacity. Long term strategies include selective breeding, determining genetic influence on the development of PSE meat, and developing an effective screening test. The new Meullenet-Owens Razor Shear method not only has more predictive value for meat tenderness, but also has less sample preparation involved as it is conducted on intact fillets. This method will be a valuable tool in the future to measure poultry meat tenderness by researchers and industry. Results suggest that unless specific consumer preferences are in place with regard to the type of products obtained from slower-growing breeds, the use of fast-growing commercial breeds may produce superior economic returns (based on better meat yield, shorter production cycles, and higher feed efficiency). Marination of breast fillets using a salt concentration of 1.0% leads to meat quality properties of pre-rigor meat which are comparable to post-rigor deboned meat. it is possible to marinate with lower concentrations of salt while still improving meat characteristics and keeping ingredient costs low. Using these findings, processors can optimize their aging and marination procedures to produce a high quality poultry product with not only acceptable, but desirable sensory characteristics. Researh in these areas will continue in a new hatch/multistate project.

Marcy, John; Owens, Casey
University of Arkansas
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