The incidence of pale, soft, and exudative (PSE) poultry meat is associated with various meat quality parameters which supports the need to establish a method for examining breast tissue characteristics using instrumental quality measurements. The objective was to establish a method for monitoring breast tissue color (BTC), cook yield (CY%), and texture characteristics of three commercial tom turkey strains (treatments A, B, and C). Treatments (trt) were arranged in a randomized complete block design and applied to eight replicate pens from d1-133. On d119, one bird per pen was randomly selected, weighed, and harvested to examine BTC (n=16), CY%, and texture characteristics. After slaughter and evisceration, carcasses were placed in a chill tank overnight. Carcasses were then weighed to determine chilled carcass yield and each pectoralis major was placed in a vacuum sealed bag. Breast samples were stored in a -23.3°C freezer until further analysis. Upon analysis, samples were thawed at 4°C and then tempered to 20°C prior to determining color characteristics using the CIELAB color measuring system. Samples were cooked at 190.5°C until internal temperatures reached 80°C and CY% was recorded. Cooked samples were chilled overnight at 4°C and then tempered to 20°C. Texture characteristics were then determined using a Warner-Bratzler shear (WBS) force apparatus. The d119 live weight was highest for trt C, while trt A had the lowest live weight. The live weight for trt B was intermediate (P=0.0220). However, no significant differences in carcass yield or breast yield were observed between the trts (P>0.05). The L* value was similar for trts B and C, while trt A had a higher L* value (P=0.0045).
The a* value was lowest for trts A and B, while trt C had the highest a* value (P=0.0027). The b* value for trt C was higher than both trts A and B (P=0.0161). No significant differences in CY% were observed between the trts (P>0.05). The WBS value was lowest for trt A and highest for trt B. The WBS value for trt C was intermediate (P=0.0021). In conclusion, this methodology for breast tissue characterization may be appropriate for establishing instrumental meat quality parameters that may be used to monitor the onset of PSE in future generations of commercial turkeys.
Key Words: PSE, texture, color, cook yield, Warner-Bratzler.
Abstract presented at the International Poultry Scientific Forum during IPPE 2020.