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Effect of different short-term high ambient temperature on chicken meat quality and ultra-structure

  • Zhang, Minghao (Laboratory of Meat Processing and Quality Control, College of Food Science and Engineering, Shandong Agricultural University) ;
  • Zhu, Lixian (Laboratory of Meat Processing and Quality Control, College of Food Science and Engineering, Shandong Agricultural University) ;
  • Zhang, Yimin (Laboratory of Meat Processing and Quality Control, College of Food Science and Engineering, Shandong Agricultural University) ;
  • Mao, Yanwei (Laboratory of Meat Processing and Quality Control, College of Food Science and Engineering, Shandong Agricultural University) ;
  • Zhang, Mingyue (Laboratory of Meat Processing and Quality Control, College of Food Science and Engineering, Shandong Agricultural University) ;
  • Dong, Pengcheng (Laboratory of Meat Processing and Quality Control, College of Food Science and Engineering, Shandong Agricultural University) ;
  • Niu, Lebao (Laboratory of Meat Processing and Quality Control, College of Food Science and Engineering, Shandong Agricultural University) ;
  • Luo, Xin (Laboratory of Meat Processing and Quality Control, College of Food Science and Engineering, Shandong Agricultural University) ;
  • Liang, Rongrong (Laboratory of Meat Processing and Quality Control, College of Food Science and Engineering, Shandong Agricultural University)
  • Received : 2018.03.21
  • Accepted : 2018.09.28
  • Published : 2019.05.01

Abstract

Objective: This study investigated the effect of different acute heat stress (HS) levels on chicken meat quality and ultra-structure. Methods: Chickens were randomly divided into 7 groups to receive different HS treatments: i) $36^{\circ}C$ for 1 h, ii) $36^{\circ}C$ for 2 h, iii) $38^{\circ}C$ for 1 h, iv) $38^{\circ}C$ for 2 h, v) $40^{\circ}C$ for 1 h, vi) $40^{\circ}C$ for 2 h, and vii) un-stressed control group ($25^{\circ}C$). Blood cortisol level, breasts initial temperature, color, pH, water holding capacity (WHC), protein solubility and ultra-structure were analyzed. Results: HS temperatures had significant effects on breast meat temperature, lightness ($L^*$), redness ($a^*$), cooking loss and protein solubility (p<0.05). The HS at $36^{\circ}C$ increased $L^*{_{24h}}$ value (p<0.01) and increased the cooking loss (p<0.05), but decreased $a^*{_{24h}}$ value (p<0.05). However, as the temperature increased to $38^{\circ}C$ and $40^{\circ}C$, all the values of $L^*{_{24h}}$, cooking loss and protein denaturation level decreased, and the differences disappeared compared to control group (p>0.05). Only the ultimate $pH_{24h}$ at $40^{\circ}C$ decreased compared to the control group (p<0.01). The pH in $36^{\circ}C$ group declined greater than other heat-stressed group in the first hour postmortem, which contributed breast muscle protein degeneration combining with high body temperature, and these variations reflected on poor meat quality parameters. The muscle fiber integrity level in group $40^{\circ}C$ was much better than those in $36^{\circ}C$ with the denatured position mainly focused on the interval of muscle fibers which probably contributes WHC and light reflection. Conclusion: HS at higher temperature (above $38^{\circ}C$) before slaughter did not always lead to more pale and lower WHC breast meat. Breast meat quality parameters had a regression trend as HS temperature raised from $36^{\circ}C$. The interval of muscle fibers at 24 h postmortem and greater pH decline rate with high body temperature in early postmortem period could be a reasonable explanation for the variation of meat quality parameters.

Keywords

Poultry Meat;Meat Quality;Cortisol;Protein Solubility;Meat Color;Ultra-structure

Acknowledgement

Supported by : Natural Science Fund of China

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