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Variability of sensory and processing qualities of poultry meat

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 September 2007

Céile Berri
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Station de Recherches Avicoles, 37380 Nouzilly, France
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As a consequence of selection and improvement in rearing and nutrition management, the characteristics of poultry production have changed dramatically over the last decades. Decreasing the age of birds at slaughter has altered the intrinsic sensory attributes of meat. Selection has also provided birds with increased muscle yield, altered muscle structure and metabolism. In broilers there are examples to suggest that such selection has had no detrimental effect per se on meat quality. Results in turkeys are more equivocal and suggest that increased performance may alter meat quality. Pre- and post-slaughter processes affect the ante-mortem physiology of the birds and the post-mortem metabolism of muscle, and can cause irreversible defects in subsequent meat quality. Production of optimal quality poultry meat depends on controlling both farming and slaughter-related parameters and understanding the complex interactions between them.

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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2000

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