A study was conducted in order to investigate quality traits and sensory properties of frozen broiler breast meat pretreated with increasing concentration (from 0 to 2%) of sodium chloride (salt). Meat samples were obtained in a single major commercial processing plant from a homogenous flock of chicken broilers (Cobb strain, 44 days-old, mixed sex, average live weight of 2.55 kg). Whole breasts were collected at random immediately after chilling and fillets (P. major muscles) were deboned by hand. A total of 12 groups of fillets were subsequently salted by hand with 0.0, 0.2, 0.4, 0.5, 0.6, 0.8, 1.0, 1.2, 1.4, 1.6, 1.8, 2.0% of sodium chloride, packaged in bags, quickly frozen in the processing plant and stored at -24°C for 3 months. Prior to analysis, fillets were thawed at 2-4°C for 72 h and 12 fillets per group were used to determine chemical-physical characteristics (pH, colour, and sodium chloride content), functional properties (drip loss, cooking loss on raw and minced meat, AK-shear force, TBARS analysis) and sensory traits (level of tenderness, level of juiciness and overall liking).
The addition of salt determined significant modifications of overall chemico-physical traits of the meat with special regards to pH, colour, water holding capacity and texture. Increased levels of salt determined an higher pH, darker colour, superior water holding capacity (assessed by drip and cooking losses), and higher tenderness (lower AK-shear values). The maximum improvement of WHC was observed for salt level higher than 1.2%. Inclusion of salt up to 2% did not exert a negative effect on lipid peroxidation. Sensory test evidenced higher scores of overall preference of meat starting from 0.8% salt concentration; highest scores of tenderness, juiciness and overall preference in meat samples with high salt content (1.6 and 2.0% groups) were observed.
2013 by Japan Poultry Science Association