Optimizing the electrical conductivity of marinade solution for water-holding capacity of broiler breast meat

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This study explored the possibility of forecasting the performance of marinade solutions in improving the water-holding capacity (WHC; weight gain, drip loss, cooking loss, and total yield) of marinated broiler breast meat based upon the electrical conductivity (EC) of the marinade solution. Normal- (50 ≤ L* ≤ 56) and light-colored samples (L* > 56), obtained from a production line, were marinated with 1 to 6% sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), 0.5 to 3% sodium tripolyphosphate (STPP), 1 to 6% sodium chloride (NaCl), and 0.05 to 0.5% acetic acid (CH3COOH) solutions. EC of all solutions increased with increasing solute concentration, and high EC of any salt solution correlated with increased weight gain and decreased drip loss and cooking loss, leading to increased total yield. CH3COOH had the least effect on the WHC of marinated breast meat. The effect of increasing EC of marinade solutions on drip loss was similar in the light- and normal-colored samples, but light-colored samples consistently had higher cooking losses and lower total yields compared with the normal-colored samples. At the same EC, NaHCO3 and STPP solutions had greater abilities to improve the total yield of marinated breast meat than the NaCl solution. Therefore, the WHC of the sample did not depend on the EC of the solution alone. However, increasing EC had a high correlation with gains in WHC of marinated breast meat for all marinade solutions (r > 0.96 for total yield). The total yield of both normal- and light-colored samples of broiler breast meat could be improved to a value higher than 75% when samples were marinated in salt solutions with EC ≥ 8.79 mS/cm for NaHCO3 or ≥ 9.91 mS/cm for STPP. NaCl solutions with EC ≥70.08 and ≥44.58 mS/cm could be used to improve total yield to values higher than 75% for light- and normal-colored samples, respectively. Our results revealed that EC could be used to forecast the performance of marinade solution in improving the WHC of marinated breast meat.

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