This is an accepted article with a DOI pre-assigned that is not yet published.
Woody breast (WB)is a major myopathy in broilers characterized by hardness of the breast filletand can be evaluated by human palpation with a severity scale of 0 (normal) to3 (severe). The objective of this study was to determine instrumental and meatquality factors that are associated with WB scores that may potentially be usedin sorting programs. A total of 206 broiler breast fillets (deboned at 3hpostmortem) were collected and scored for WB. Thickness and length (overall,cranial, caudal, and keel regions) of the Pectoralis major (whole butterfly)were measured with a caliper. Compression force (CF), pH, color were measured.The right side (RS) of the butterfly fillet was frozen at -20oC for 48h andthawed for 24h, and then CF was measured, along with cook loss, Meullenet OwensRazor Shear (MORS), and blunt MORS (BMORS). Pearson correlation coefficientsand ordinal logistic regression were used. Measurement responses were comparedfor four categories of WB. The keel length measurement on the breast showed nodifference (P>0.05). However, the thickness is correlated moderately(r=0.67) and could differentiate between the scores. In addition, CF of RS washigher than LS of fillets (P<0.05). Freezing significantly decreased(P<0.05) CF of thawed fillets compared to pre-frozen fillets. Cook lossincreased (P<0.05) as severity for WB increased. Peak counts for MORS andBMORS were higher (P<0.05) for the severe compared to the lower levels ofseverity. In conclusion, the thickness of the breast fillet may potentially beused for sorting purposes, possibly in combination with other sorting criteria.This model of prediction of WB could be used in industry to select thedifferent WB categories. Freezing the breast meat improves the softness of theWB and differences exist between right and left fillets. Future research should assess impact offreezing on sensory.
Keywords: thawed meat, myopathies, meat quality, wooden breast, broiler breast