Factors affecting the production of poultry meat for processing
The link between poultry animal production factors and poultry meat processing has not been studied in detail. The effect of factors such as genotype, sex, age, diet and muscle type on meat processing capabilities such as post-mortem pH, soaked, cooked yield, texture and binding of whole and comminuted meat are reported here. To determine the processing capabilities of the meat, various methods were employed, including muscle fibre typing, microscopy and electrophoresis. The breast muscle was more suited to processing that the thigh, particularly with regards to texture. Genotype was the most significant production factor for processing capabilities: broiler-type birds produced meat which gave higher soaked and cooked yields, was less tough and improved meat bind. Generally, older animals produced meat less suitable for processing. Diet had little effect on the processing capability of the meat. The addition of salt and phosphates to poultry meat had a more significant effect on processing behaviour than any animal production factor. Phosphate increased the soaked and cooked yield, reduced toughness and increased meat bind. Salt improved the processing performance more than phosphate. Salt and phosphates added together improved processing performance more than either alone. This synergistic result was independent of animal production factors. These findings indicate that muscle location, genotype and bird age are the most significant animal production factors. Additionally, salt and phosphate affect the processing capability of meat more than any of the animal production factors. Muscle fibre type has no affect on meat processing capability. Microscopic observations suggest that protein dispersion, decrease in porosity and void size increased cooked yield and meat binding. The electrophoresis results showed that actin and myosin are the two proteins most dispersed by the action of salt and phosphate.