Comparison of sensory texture attributes of broiler breast fillets with different degrees of white striping*

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The white striping (WS) condition in broiler meat results in increased intramuscular fat, connective tissue, and moisture loss during cooking and negatively affects product appearance and consumer acceptance of skinless chicken meat. The effect of WS on the human perception of cooked meat texture is unknown. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of WS on sensory texture attributes of cooked chicken breast fillets (Pectoralis major). Over three separate trial days, a total of 105 breast butterfly fillets were collected from the deboning line of a commercial broiler processing plant. Fillets were classified according to the degree of WS (normal, moderate, severe) and stored at −20°C until use. Fourteen representative fillets from each category were cooked directly from the frozen state to an endpoint temperature of 78°C and evaluated by a 7-member trained panel for five texture attributes: cohesiveness, hardness, juiciness, rate of breakdown, and chewiness. There were no differences (P > 0.05) for juiciness or the rate of breakdown between the fillets based on the degree of WS. Among the three WS groups, however, differences (P < 0.05) in cohesiveness, hardness, and chewiness were observed. For these attributes, the mean intensity scores of fillets with severe WS were consistently highest among the groups. There were no differences (P > 0.05) between the normal and moderate WS fillets. These data suggest that the severe WS condition was perceived to be harder, more cohesive, and chewier than either normal or moderate WS fillets by panelists.

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