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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Microbial Interactions and Management Approaches to Reduce Pathogenic Bacteria in Poultry

Location: Food and Feed Safety Research

Title: Quality and safety of broiler meat in various chilling systems

Authors
item Demirok, Eda -
item Veluz, G -
item Stuyvenberg, W -
item Castaneda, M -
item Byrd, James
item Alvarado, C -

Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 7, 2012
Publication Date: April 1, 2013
Repository URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/57251
Citation: Demirok, E., Veluz, G., Stuyvenberg, W.V., Castaneda, M.P., Byrd, J.A., Alvarado, C.Z. 2013. Quality and safety of broiler meat in various chilling systems. Poultry Science. 92:1117-1126.

Interpretive Summary: Chilling is an important step for cooling down the chicken carcasses to maintain high quality meat and to meet the USDA-FSIS temperature standards. This study was conducted to determine the best chilling equipment for reducing processed chickens carcass temperature using three different approaches including water chilled, air chilled only, and a combination of 3 minute water dip followed by a 2 hour air chill. Meat quality was evaluated by several parameters including carcass weights before and after chilling of the carcasses, moisture content, carcass color, meat toughness before and after cooking, and taste of the cooked product. The carasses were tested for the presence of the food-poisoning bacteria Salmonella and Campylobacter. Time of the product in the retail market was determined (shelf-life). Water-chilled carcasses resulted in the highest reduction of the food-poisoning bacteria Salmonella and Campylobacter prevalence due to the washing effect and presence of chlorine in the water. There was no significant difference in shelf-life when comparing the chilling type approaches. Chicken carcasses that were placed in the chilled water had the heaviest final product compared to the other approaches. Water losses from the chicken breast fillets were not different for any of the carcass chilling systems. There were no differences in the smell or taste of the cooked breast fillets and drums among the three types of systems.

Technical Abstract: Chilling is a critical step in poultry processing to attain high quality meat and to meet the USDA-FSIS temperature standards. This study was conducted to determine the effects of commercially available chilling systems on quality and safety of broiler meat. A total of 300 carcasses in two replications were randomly selected from a commercial processor and subjected to three systems: immersion chill (IC), air chill (AC), and combination of in-line air chill (CIAC). Incidence of Salmonella and Campylobacter were determined on pre- and post-chilled carcasses following the USDA-FSIS procedures. Quality of the meat was evaluated by carcass yield, drip loss, cook loss, texture, moisture content, sensory and color (L*, a*, and b*) of boneless skinless breast fillets, and skin-on drums. Shelf life of whole carcasses, breast fillets, and drums was also determined. IC resulted in the most reduction of Salmonella (39.7%) and Campylobacter (43%) prevalence due to the washing effect and presence of chlorine in the chilled water. There was no significant difference in shelf-life when comparing the chilling methods. IC had the highest (P<0.05) carcass yield (6.5%), followed by CIAC (+1.98.0%) and then AC (-1.10%). Drip loss, cook loss, and moisture content of breast fillets were not significantly different for all the chilling systems, but higher L* value was observed for breast fillets at 24 h post-mortem treated with IC and CIAC. However, IC exhibited the lightest color, and AC was darkest in the drum samples. Shear force of breast meat was significantly more tender for AC and CIAC. There were no differences in the sensory qualities of breast fillets and drums among the three chilling systems.

Last Modified: 10/31/2014
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