The Effect of Poultry Preslaughter Fasting and Condition on the Quality of Meat and Luncheon Processed in Syria
Broilers chicken welfare has been a challenge for the poultry industry and proper management is a topic to be aware to avoid the stressful conditions that can lead to compromise meat quality, as in the case of Pale, Soft and Exudative (PSE) meat. Several pre-slaughtering factors are related to broiler PSE meat formation, particularly transport, lairage and slaughtering conditions. The aim of this work was to evaluate the influence of chicken transportation time and lair before slaughtering on the occurrence of PSE meat and the quality of meat and canned meat processed locally under commercial transportation conditions in the Syrian winter, 150 chickens were tested and submitted to 13-hour pre-slaughter fasting periods in average. Deboned breast meat was submitted to the following analysis: pH, Drip Loss (DL), Water Holding Capacity (WHC) and Emulsion Stability (ES). The results show that 20% of meat considered as PSE meat that did not affect the quality attributes of the luncheon prepared under local commercial management before slaughtering.
Received: April 19, 2012;
Accepted: June 25, 2012;
Published: October 03, 2012
The food consumption pattern has changed over the last decades, with consumers
becoming more and more aware of food quality attributes. Nowadays, quality attributes
include not only nutritional and sensory aspects, but also food safety, environmental
and animal during rearing. Members of the industry have tried to maintain their
markets by addressing these new consumer interests (Contreras-Castillo
et al., 2007).
Before slaughter, while the chickens are still on the farms, their feed is
withdrawn and they submitted to a Feed Withdrawal (FW) period that aims to reduce
the gastrointestinal contents and consequently fecal contamination of the carcass
during transport and evisceration. Although, 10-12 h of FW is sufficient to
minimize carcass contamination and yield loss (Contreras-Castillo
et al., 2007; Wabeck, 1972; Veerkamp,
1986). Wabeck (1972) suggested Eight hour as the
minimum time to empty the broilers gastrointestinal contents. Weight loss
of the birds during the period between FW and processing is called as live shrink
or shrinkage (Bilgili, 2002). After broilers have been
without feed for more than 6 h, they begin to draw moisture and nutrients from
their own body tissues and this weight loss may then affect edible yield (Northcutt,
The degree of shrinkage caused by FW (SFW) is affected by bird age, gender,
diet density, house environmental control, ambient temperature, length of FW,
transportation and plant holding conditions (Bilgili, 2002).
Feed withdrawal periods are linearly correlated with carcass yields before and
after carcass chilling (Lyon et al., 1991). Broiler
dehydration during FW and transport, besides causing weight loss, may affect
the physical and chemical characteristics of the meat. Several events preslaughter
have an influence on poultry processing efficiency including feed and water
withdrawal, catching methods, transportation system, distance to the plant and
plant holding conditions, which are significant factors affecting poultry slaughter
quality (Bilgili, 1995). Because of the increase in
volume of deboned chicken cuts and further processing, the effects of FW on
fillet pH, tenderness, cooking weight loss and chemical composition have become
the focus of attention for several researchers (Contreras-Castillo
et al., 2007; Ali et al., 1999; Berri,
Murray and Rosemberg (1953) reported that glycogen
concentration is related to pre-slaughter fasting. Glycogen concentration is
lowest when a 16 h fasting period is applied and increases 33% between 1 and
10 h when birds are re-fed with ground corn. Mellor et
al. (1958) evaluated the relation between glycogen and pH and found
that chicken meat with high glycogen concentration presented pH 6.2 therefore
the highest glycogen level was related to more acid meat as low pH 24 post mortem
is related to PSE meat (pale, soft, exudative). According to Kotula
and Wang (1994) glycogen levels decrease as fasting time increases as they
found that zero and 36 h of fasting resulted in glycogen values at zero hour
post mortem of 7 mg g-1 and 3.5 mg g-1, respectively.
According to Gonzalez et al. (2007) rest showed
a direct effect on temperature (p<0.05), diminishing acidity, reflected though
hot and cold carcass pH as compared to the group of quail without rest.
Castro (2006) asserted that higher PSE frequency relates
to very short fasting periods, as there is high glycogen availability in the
muscle. Therefore, fasting is related to meat pH and influences the incidence
of PSE in chicken meat (Komiyama et al., 2008).
Muscle is made up of 65-80% of water that exists in either the free, immobilized,
or bound form. A products water-holding capacity is primarily determined
through exposing the product to external forces such as cutting, heating, grinding,
or pressing (Hedrick et al., 1994). Since, water
is a polar molecule, it can become associated with electrically charged reactive
groups on the muscle proteins, resulting in a strong attraction and immobilization
known as bound water. Bound water will continually attract other water molecules,
resulting in immobilized water. Immobilized water has less order and thus a
lower attraction to the reactive groups. Free water is held only by surface
tension and can be easily removed with little physical force such as the shrinking
of myofibrils during the development of rigor mortis. Rapid pH decline in a
high temperature carcass results in denaturant and shrinking of myosin and reducing
filament spacing (Offer, 1991). Consequently, water
is expelled from the cells and lost as purge or drip loss. Products processed
from PSE meat not only have lower water binding capacity (lower yields), but
also exhibit the reduced cohesiveness (Solomon et al.,
1998; McCurdy et al., 1996; Daigle,
There is evidencing in the literature that catching often results in injury,
especially when many birds are caught with maximum haste by the catching team.
Leandro (2001) identified and quantified losses when
comparing both manual and mechanized catching (16.5-7%, respectively). The authors
found bruising in thighs, legs and breasts of up to 25% of the harvested birds
due to handling, catching transportation and unloading at the processing plant.
However, most damage in the carcass was found during catching in the breast
(11%), thighs (33%) and wings (38%). Hip dislocation occurs when birds are caught
in the broiler sheds and loaded into the transportation crates. Birds are usually
held by one leg and several birds are held in each worker hand. If one or more
birds start flapping their wings, their hip twists, the femur detaches and a
subcutaneous hemorrhagic are produced, killing the bird. Dead birds with dislocated
hip often have blood in the mouth, which was coughed up from the respiratory
tract. Sometimes, too much haste caused this damage by the catchers (Baracho
et al., 2006).
There are several factors that affect meat quality , the storage period up
to 4 days in chiller and 30 days in freezer could satisfactorily maintain the
buffalo meat quality (Kandeepan and Biswas, 2007), the
supplementation of diet with L-carnitine has positive effects on blood triglyceride
and meat quality in Japanese quail (Parizadian et al.,
2011), the using canola oil with high level of ω-3 fatty acids could
influence fatty acid profile and improved meat quality (Salamatdoustnobar
et al., 2008), the broilers fed with the diet containing probiotics
was found better in terms of feed efficiency, growth and meat quality (Bansal
et al., 2011), Feeding of red ginger phytobiotic feed additive increased
productive performance, carcass and meat quality of broiler (Herawati
and Marjuki, 2011), whereas, the addition of enzyme did not significantly
impact meat quality traits (pH, cooking loss, water holding capacity, shear
force and colour attributes) (Zakaria et al., 2010).
Supplementation of drinking water with various levels of ascorbic acid did not
significantly improve meat quality characteristics of broiler chicken reared
in open-sided or closed housing at high ambient temperatures (Kadim
et al., 2009).
The objective of the current work was to evaluate the influence of chicken transportation and lair under commercial management before slaughtering on the quality of meat and canned meat processed locally.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Animals and management: This experiment was carried out in the winter season of (2010), birds were collected during 5-7 h and placed in boxes (n = 9) with dimensions of 772x570x303 mm and subjected to road conditions in an open truck at 11°C for transport periods of 3-5 h. Upon arrival at the slaughterhouse, birds were subjected to lairage under natural ventilation for 2-4 h before slaughtering. Broilers were killed manually. This included cutting, the carotid artery and jugular vein, followed by scalding, feathering, eviscerating and removing the breast muscle samples, which were kept refrigerated at 4°C for further analysis.
In this study, 150 broilers were tested and the injury percentage during catching was calculated.
pH measurements and Samples classification: Meat pH was directly measured
in the pectorals major muscle using a pH metro (Ama-Digit) coupled to a probe
electrode, The initial (pHi) and final (pHf) pH were measured at 15 min and
24 h postmortem at 4°C in triplicate, as reported by Olivo
et al. (2001). Samples were classified as PSE or normal meat samples
based on previously established parameters associated with pH (Oba
et al., 2009). PSE samples presented values of pH = 5.80 and normal
meat samples had values of pH>5.80 (Kissel et al.,
Water-holding capacity (WHC) measurement: To determine water holding
capacity 2 g meat cubes were placed between two circles of filter paper placed
on two glass plates. A 10 kg weight was placed on the top glass plate for 5
min, after which samples were weighed, as the quantity of water loss was calculated
as the difference between initial and final weights (Kissel
et al., 2009; Hamm, 1960).
Drip loss (DL) and emulsion stability (ES): Drip loss was determined by keeping breast fillet under conditions that simulate retail sales. Samples were placed on polystyrene trays, covered with permeable plastic film and stored at 3±1°C for 72 h.
Drip Loss (DL) was calculated as the difference between initial and final weights
(Komiyama et al., 2008; Hamm,
1960; Northcutt et al., 1994). Emulsion Stability
(ES) was measured immediately after the cutter phase as described in Kissel
et al. (2009). The ES was measured according to the method described
by Lin and Zayas (1987). Briefly, 25 g of the emulsion
meat was weighed in centrifuge tubes, subjected to a thermal treatment of 70°C
for 30 min and centrifuged at 4000 rpm for 3 min. The measured supernatant was
expressed in percent of emulsion stability.
Statistical analysis: The results were analyzed using the statistical
6.0 program. A Students t-test was performed at the level of 5% probability
in order to observe significant differences between the PSE and normal meat
formulations. Significant association were identified when a p-value of less
than 0.05 was observed.
The results show that the mean of Food Withdrawal (FW) period was 13 h and the bruising was in thighs, legs and breasts of up to 2% of the harvested birds due to handling, catching and transportation.
The pH of the samples during 24 h postmortem showed that 80% of the samples considered as normal meat (pH>5.80) and 20% of the samples considered as PSE meat (pH = 5.8). The pH values were different in the two samples (p<0.05).
The results indicate that the mean of Water Holding Capacity (WHC) were 62%
and 20% of samples were less than 60% (59%) and these samples considered as
PSE meat whereas, 80% of samples were more than 60% (65-62-61-63%) and these
samples considered as normal meat according to (Kissel et
The mean of the drip loss of all samples were 5.5%. The drip loss of 20% of
the samples were more than 6% (6.1%) and these samples considered as PSE meat
according to Jensen et al. (1998), whereas the
drip loss of 80% of the samples were less than 6% (5.3-5.4-5.4-5.4%) and these
samples considered as PSE meat according to Jensen et
al. (1998). The emulsion stability (ES) value of PSE meat (10.5%) was
significantly higher than in normal meat (7.6-7.8-7.7-7.8%). The mean of ES
value was less (1.9%) when starch and isolated soy protein were added, the condition
of PSE promoted a lower ES (p<0.05) as a result of the denaturation of myofibril
As shown in Table 1 the pH of the fillets at 24 h postmortem
showed values that varied from 5.77-5.95, the pH values were different in PSE
and normal meat (p<0.05).
|| Meat quality parameters of broilers submitted to different
fasting periods of different farms
|FW: Food withdrawal, WHC: Water holding capacity, DL: Drip
loss, ES: Emulsion stability
The pH range of picture of the possible influence 5.79-5.84 has been reported
for FW periods of 3, 6, 12 and 18 h by Kotula and Wang (1994)
and suggested that 8 h of FW would differences observed among the pH values
do not provide a clear of FW time on pH. In general, the results of the current
study agree with those of other authors (Kotula and Wang,
1994) and lead to the conclusion that pH is probably not affected only by
According to Komiyama et al. (2008), meat pH
was significantly influenced (p = 0.05) by the different fasting period. The
lowest values were obtained in the meat samples of birds submitted only to 4
h pre-slaughter fasting and there were no significant differences (p>0.05)
in pH (evaluated in different periods) among the remaining pre-slaughter fasting
periods (8, 12 and 16 h). Castro (2006) analyzed meat
pH eight hours after slaughter, also did not detect any effect (p>0.05) of
the different pre-slaughter fasting periods, with pH values between 5.71 and
In this study, values of WHC did not differ significantly between the two formulations:
PSE and normal meat. Similar results were observed by Kissel
et al. (2009), the WHC of PSE and normal meat were (60.6-65.9%),
respectively and similar results were observed in Delicatessen Rolls that were
produced from normal and PSE turkey meats (Daigle, 2005).
Table 1 shows that, in luncheon formulations without ingredients,
the ES value of PSE luncheon was significantly higher than in the luncheon made
with normal meat. The ES value was even higher when starch and isolated soy
protein were added, which suggests that soy protein acts synergistically as
an emulsifier. This improves the final products ES, as previously observed
by Wang et al. (2000). Similar results were observed
by Kissel et al. (2009).
In this study value of Drip loss after 16 h of withdrawal period was 6.1%,
in another study with birds submitted for 16 h of pre-slaughter fasting and
transported for three km the drip loss was 4.88% (Komiyama
et al., 2008).
When birds are submitted to stress, their body temperature increases muscle
pH decreases due to lactic acid production in the muscle. This situation of
low pH and high temperature in the muscle lead to higher post mortem protein
breakdown, with consequent higher tissue water loss therefore higher meat tenderness
cause by protein breakdown (Ali et al., 1999),
but under low ambient temperature (11°C) such as in winter in Syria it difficult
to increase their body temperature, this conclusion enhance the broiler transportation
at low ambient temperature in the field. Future research should be using these
research results to study the effect of different temperature during broiler
transportation, according to geographic distributions, in the meat quality.
Apparently under the conditions of these experiments, the birds never submitted to stressful harsh conditions and therefore the meat remain in good statues after birds slaughtering.
The association of longer Preslaughter Fasting period and PSE meat did not seem to follow negative parameters under the conditions of this experiment. Although, the technological functional properties of broiler PSE meat are weak, they are strengthened by the addition of normal meat and other luncheon ingredients.
I would like to thank the Technical Food Industries Company (Project No: T-764/09832096).
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