Skip to main content
Log in

Determinants of broiler chicken meat quality and factors affecting them: a review

  • Review Paper
  • Published:
Journal of Food Science and Technology Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Broiler production at mass level has already been achieved and now emphasis is being laid on increasing meat quality by altering various characteristics of broiler meat. Appearance, texture, juiciness, wateriness, firmness, tenderness, odor and flavor are the most important and perceptible meat features that influence the initial and final quality judgment by consumers before and after purchasing a meat product. The quantifiable properties of meat such as water holding capacity, shear force, drip loss, cook loss, pH, shelf life, collagen content, protein solubility, cohesiveness, and fat binding capacity are indispensable for processors involved in the manufacture of value added meat products. Nutrition of birds has a significant impact on poultry meat quality and safety. It is well known that dietary fatty acid profiles are reflected in tissue fatty acid. Management of poultry meat production is reflected mostly on consumption features (juiciness, tenderness, flavour) of meat. After slaughter, biochemical changes, causing the conversion of muscle to meat, determine final meat quality. Postmortem carcass temperature has profound effect on rigor mortis and the physicochemical changes observed in PSE muscles are attributed to postmortem glycolysis, temperature, and pH. Primary processing and further processing have become a matter of concern with respect to nutritional quality of broiler meat. Genetic variation among birds could contribute to large differences in the rate of rigor mortis completion and meat quality. Heritability estimates for meat quality traits in broilers are amazingly high (0.35–0.81), making genetic selection a best tool for improvement of broiler meat quality.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Aberley ED, Forrest JC, Gerrard DE, Mills EW et al (2001) Principles of meat science, 4th edn. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, Dubuque, p 94

    Google Scholar 

  • Ahn DU (2002) Production of volatiles from amino acid homopolymers by irradiation. J Food Sci 67:2565–2570

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Aletor VA, Eder K, Becker K et al (2003) The effects of conjugated linoleic acids or an α-glucosidase inhibitor on tissue lipid concentrations and fatty acid composition of broiler chicks fed a low-protein diet. Poult Sci 82:796–804

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Allen CD, Fletcher DL, Northcutt JK et al (1998) The relationship of broiler breast color to meat quality and shelf life. Poult Sci 77:361–366

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Anadon HLS (2002) Biological, nutritional, and processing factors affecting breast meat quality of broilers. Ph.D. Thesis, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA, 24061, USA

  • Ang CYW, Hamm D (1983) Comparison of commercial processing methods vs hot deboning of fresh broilers on nutrient content of breast meat. J Food Sci 48:1543–1565

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Ang CYW, Hamm D, Searcy GK (1982) Changes in nutrient content during chill holding of ice-packed and deep-chilled broilers. J Food Sci 47:1763–1766

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Barbut S (1993) Colour measurements for evaluating the pale soft exudative (PSE) occurrence in turkey meat. Food Res Intern 26:39–43

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bender AE (1978) Food processing and nutrition. Academic Press, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Berri C, Wacrenier N, Millet N et al (2001) Effect of selection for improved body composition on muscle and meat characteristics of broilers from experimental and commercial lines. Poult Sci 80(7):833–838

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Bilgili SF (2002) Slaughter quality as influenced by feed withdrawal. World Poult Sci J 58:123–130

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bingham S (2006) The fibre-folate debate on colo-rectal cancer. P Nutr Soc 65(1):19–23

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Bowers JA, Fryer BA (1972) Thiamine and riboflavin in cooked and frozen, reheated Turkey. J Am Diet Assoc 60:399–401

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Broncano JM, Petron MJ, Parr V, Timon ML (2009) Effect of different cooking methods on lipid oxidation and formation of free cholesterol oxidation products (COPs) in Latissimus dorsi muscle of Iberian pigs. Meat Sci 83:431–437

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Calkins CR, Hodgen JM (2007) A fresh look at meat flavour. Meat Sci 77:63–80

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Caparino OA (2000) Characteristics and quality of freeze–dried mango powder pre-frozen at different temperatures. Philipp Agric Sci 83:338–343

    Google Scholar 

  • Cholan P, Rao VK, Karthikeyan B et al (2011) Effect of different cooking methods on physicochemical, organoleptic and microbiological quality of chicken patties. Indian J Poult Sci 46:206–210

    Google Scholar 

  • Contreras CC, Beraquet N (2001) Electrical stunning, hot boning and quality of chicken breast meat. Poult Sci 80:501–507

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Crespo N, Esteve-Garcia E (2001) Dietary fatty acid profile modifies abdominal fat deposition in broiler chickens. Poult Sci 80:71–78

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Cross HR, Durland PR, Seideman SC (1986) Sensory qualities of meat. In: Bechtel PJ (ed) Muscle as food. Academic Press, New York, pp 297–320

    Google Scholar 

  • Culioli J, Berri C, Mourot J (2003) Muscle Foods: consumption, composition and quality. Sci Aliment 23(1):13–34

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Debut M, Berri C, Baeza E, Sellier N et al (2003) Variations of chicken technological meat quality in relation to genotype and pre-slaughter stress conditions. Poult Sci 82:1829–1834

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • DeGroot AP, van der Mijll Dekker LP, Slump P et al. (1972) Composition and nutritive value of radiation-pasteurized chicken. Central Institute for Nutrition and Food Research. Report No. R3787. Zeist, Netherlands

  • Dransfield E, Sosnicki AA (1999) Relationship between muscle growth and poultry meat quality. Poult Sci 78:743–746

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Du M, Ahn DU (2002) Effect of dietary conjugated linoleic acid on the growth rate in live birds and abdominal fat content and quality of broiler meat. Poult Sci 81:428–433

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Farrell D (2013) The role of poultry in human nutrition. In: Poultry development review. FAO, Rome, ISBN 978-92-5-108067-2

  • Feddes JJR, Emmanuel EJ, Zuidhof MJ (2002) Broiler performance, body weight variance, feed and water intake, and carcass quality at different stocking densities. Poult Sci 81:774–779

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Fletcher DL (1995) Relationship of breast meat color variation to muscle pH and texture. Poult Sci 74(1):120

    Google Scholar 

  • Fletcher DL (2002) Poultry meat quality. World’s Poult Sci J 58(2):131–145

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Forrest JC, Aberle ED, Hedrick HB, et al. (1975) Properties of fresh meat. In: Freeman WH and Co (ed) Principles of Meat Science, San Francisco, pp 174–189

  • Froning GW (1978) Final report of the panel on irradiation of poultry and poultry products. In: Food Irradiation in the United States. Natick Research Laboratory. Interdepartmental Committee on Radiation Preservation, US Army

  • Froning GW (1995) Color of poultry meat. Poult Avian Biol Rev 6(1):83–93

    Google Scholar 

  • Grashorn MA, Clostermann G (2002) Mast- und Schlachtleistung von Broilerherkünften für die Extensivmast. Arch Geflügelk 66:173–181

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Greaser ML (1986) Conversion of muscle to meat. In: Bechtel PJ (ed) Muscle as Food. Academic Press, New York, pp 37–102

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Greger M (2014) Trans fat in animal fat. NutritionFacts.orghttps://nutritionfacts.org/2014/02/27/trans-fat-in-animal-fat/

  • Groom GM (1990) Factors affecting poultry meat quality. In: Options méditerranéennes Cambrigde (UK). Agricultural Development and Advisory Service (ADAS), Fisheries and Food, Cambridge (UK). (Série A-L’aviculture en Méditerranée)

  • Guarnieri PD, Soares AL, Olivo R et al (2004) Pre-slaughter handling with water shower spray inhibits PSE (pale, soft, exudative) broiler breast meat in a commercial plant. Biochemical and ultrastructural observations. J Food Biochem 28:269–277

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Guo Y, Zhang G, Yuan J et al (2003) Effects of source and level of magnesium and vitamin E on prevention of hepatic peroxidation and oxidative deterioration of broiler meat. Anim Feed Sci Technol 107:143–150

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Hall KN, Lin CS (1981) Effect of cooking rates in electric or microwave oven on cooking losses and retention of thiamine in broilers. J Food Sci 46:1292–1293

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hay JD, Currie RW, Wolfe IH (1973) Effect of postmortem aging on chicken muscle lipids. J Food Sci 38:696–699

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hess JB, Bilgili SF (2004) Carcass yield response of small broilers to feed nutrient density. In: XXII World Poultry Congress Istanbul, Turkey, 8–13 June

  • Huang ZB, Leibovitz H, Lee CM et al (1990) Effect of dietary fish oil on ω-3 fatty acid levels in chicken eggs and thigh flesh. J Agric Food Chem 38:743–747

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Ingr I (1989) Meat quality: defining the term by modern standards. Fleisch 69:1268–1277

    Google Scholar 

  • James SJ (2002) New developments in the chilling and freezing of meat. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton. doi:10.1533/9781855736665.3.297

    Google Scholar 

  • James C, Vincent C, de Andrade Lima TI, James SJ (2006) The primary chilling of poultry carcasses—a review. Int J Ref 29:847–862

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jauregui CA, Regenstein JM, Baker RC (1981) A simple centrifugal method for measuring expressible moisture, a water binding property of muscle foods. J Food Sci 46:1271–1273

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jo C, Ahn DU (2000) Production of volatile compounds from irradiated oil emulsion containing amino acids and proteins. J Food Sci 65:612–616

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • John KA, Maalouf J, Barsness CB, Yuan K, Cogswell ME, Gunn JP (2016) Do lower calorie or lower fat foods have more sodium than their regular counterparts? Nutrients 8:511. doi:10.3390/nu8080511

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Josephson ES, Peterson MS (1983) Radappertization of meat, poultry, finfish, shellfish and special diets. In: Josephson ES, Peterson MS (eds) Preservation of food by ionizing radiation. CRC Press, Boca Raton

    Google Scholar 

  • Jung Y, Jeon HJ, Jung S et al (2011) Comparison of quality traits of thigh meat from Korean native chickens and broilers. Korean J Food Sci An 31:684–692

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kannan G, Heath JL, Wabeck CJ et al (1998) Elevated plasma corticosterone concentrations influence the onset of rigor mortis and meat color in broilers. Poult Sci 77:322–328

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Khan AW, Lentz CP (1965) Influence of pre rigor, rigor, and post rigor freezing on drip losses and protein changes in chicken meat. J Food Sci 30:787–790

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Kiyohara R, Yamaguchi S, Rikimaru K et al (2011) Supplemental arachidonic acid-enriched oil improves the taste of thigh meat of Hinai-jidori chickens. Poult Sci 90:1817–1822

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Lawrie RA (1991) Meat Science, 5th edn. Pergamon Press, New York, pp 56–60

    Google Scholar 

  • Le Bihan-Duval E, Millet N, Remignon H (1999) Broiler meat quality: effect of selection for increased carcass quality and estimates of genetic parameters. Poult Sci 78:822–826

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lee WT, Dawson LE (1973) Chicken lipid changes during cooking in fresh and reused cooking oil. J Food Sci 38:1232–1237

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lee KH, Kim HJ, Lee HJ et al (2012) A Study on components related to flavour and taste in commercial broiler and Korean native chicken meat. Korean J Food Preserv 19:385–392

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lewis SJ, Velasquez A, Cuppett SL, McKee SR (2002) Effect of electron beam irradiation on poultry meat safety and quality. Poult Sci 81:896–903

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Leygonie C, Britz TJ, Hoffman LC (2012) Impact of freezing and thawing on the quality of meat: review. Meat Sci 91:93–98

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Liu Y, Zhao Y, Feng X (2008) Exergy analysis for a freeze–drying process. Appl Therm Eng 28:675–690

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Liu XD, Jayasena DD, Jung Y et al (2012) Differential proteome analysis of breast and thigh muscles between Korean native chickens and commercial broilers. Asian–Australas J Anim Sci 25:895–902

    Google Scholar 

  • Ludvigsen J (1954) Undersogelser over den sakaldte “muskeldegeneration” hos svin. Beret Forsoegslab 1:272

    Google Scholar 

  • Ma RT-I, Addis PB (1973) The association of struggle during exsanguination to glycolysis, protein solubility and shear in turkey pectoralis muscle. J Food Sci 38:995–997

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • McKee SR, Sams AR (1998) Rigor mortis development at elevated temperatures induces pale exudative turkey meat characteristics. Poult Sci 77:169–174

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • McKee SR, Hargis BM, Sams AR (1998) Pale, soft and exudative meat in turkeys treated with succinylcholine. Poult Sci 77:356–360

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Melton SL (1999) Current status of meat flavour. In: Xiong YL, Ho CT, Shahidi F (eds) Quality attributes of muscle foods. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York, pp 115–130

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Millar S, Wilson R, Moss BW et al (1994) Oxymyoglobin formation in meat and poultry. Meat Sci 36:397–406

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Millares R, Fellers CR (1949) Vitamin and amino acid content of processed chicken meat. J Food Sci 14:131–143

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Moran ET (2001) Effect of nutrition and feed additives on meat quality. XV European Symposium on the Quality of Poultry Meat, Kusudasi, Turkey, 9–12 September, pp 99–107

  • Mugler DJ, Cunningham FE (1972) Factors affecting poultry meat color: a review. World’s Poult Sci J 28:400–406

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Myers SJ, Harris ND (1975) Effect of electronic cooking on fatty acids in meat. J Am Diet Assoc 67:232–234

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Nakai Y, Chen TC (1984) Effects of coating preparation methods on yields and compositions of deep-fat fried chicken parts. Poult Sci 65:307–313

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Nam KC, Ahn DU (2003) Double-packaging is effective in reducing lipid oxidation and off-odor volatiles of irradiated raw turkey meat. Poul Sci 82:468–1474

    Google Scholar 

  • Ngoka DA, Froning GW, Lowry SR et al (1982) Effects of sex, age, pre slaughter factors, and holding conditions on the quality characteristics and chemical composition of turkey breast muscles. Poult Sci 61:1996–2003

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Northcutt JK (2009) Factors affecting poultry meat quality. Bulletin 1157. The University of Georgia, Cooperative Extension, College of Agriculture Science and Environmental Science & Family and Consumer Sciences

  • Offer G (1991) Modeling of the formation of pale, soft and exudative meat: effects of chilling regime and rate and extent of glycolysis. Meat Sci 30:57–184

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Offer G, Knight P (1988) The structural basis of water-holding in meat. General principles and water uptake in meat processing. In: Developments in meat science, Elsevier Applied Science Publishing Co., Inc, New York, pp 163–171

  • Owens CM, Hirschler EM, McKee SR et al (2000) The characterization and incidence of pale, soft, exudative turkey meat in a commercial plant. Poult Sci 79:553–558

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Patterson RIS, Stevenson MH (1995) Irradiation-induced off-odor in chicken and its possible control. Br Poult Sci 36:425–441

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Perez-Alvarez JA, Sendra-Nadal E, Sanchez-Zapata EJ et al (2010) Poultry flavour: general aspects and applications. In: Guerrero-Legarreta I, Hui YH (eds) Handbook of poultry science and technology: secondary processing. Wiley, New Jersey, pp 339–357

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Perumalla AVS, Saha A, Lee Y, Meullenet JF, Owens CM (2011) Marination properties and sensory evaluation of breast fillets from air-chilled and immersion chilled broiler carcasses. Poult Sci 90:671–679

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Pippen EL, Klose AA (1955) Effects of ice water chilling on flavor of chicken. Poult Sci 34:1139–1146

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Raj ABM, Wilkins LJ, Richardson RI et al (1997) Carcass and meat quality in broilers either killed with a gas mixture or stunned with an electric current under commercial processing conditions. Br Poult Sci 38:169–174

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Ramarathnam N, Rubin LJ, Diosady LL (1993) Studies on meat flavour: fractionation, characterisation, and quantitation of volatiles from uncured and cured beef and chicken. J Agric Food Chem 41:939–945

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Ramirez MR, Morcuende D, Estevez M, Cava R (2004) Effects of the type of frying with culinary fat and refrigerated storage on lipid oxidation and colour of fried pork loin chops. Food Chem 88:85–94

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Rathgeber BM, Boles JA, Shand PJ (1999) Rapid postmortem pH decline and delayed chilling reduce quality of turkey breast meat. Poult Sci 78:477–484

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Sams AR (2001) First processing: slaughter through chilling. In: Sams AR (ed) Poultry meat processing. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, pp 19–34

    Google Scholar 

  • Sante V, Sosnicki AA, Greaser ML et al. (1995) Impact of turkey breeding and production on breast quality. Proceedings from XII European Symposium on the Quality of Poultry Meat, Zaragoza, Spain, pp 151–156

  • Smith DP, Lyon CE, Lyon BG (2002) The effect of age, dietary carbohydrate source, and feed withdrawal on broiler breast fillet color. Poult Sci 81:1584–1588

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Solomon MB, Van Laack JM, Eastridge JS (1998) Biophysical basis of pale, soft exudative (PSE) pork and poultry muscle. A review. J Muscle Foods 9:1–11

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sonayia EB, Ristic M, Klein WF (1990) Effect of environmental temperature, dietary energy, age, sex on broiler carcase portions and palatability. Br Poult Sci 31:121–128

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Soyer A, Ozalp B, Dalmis U, Bilgin V (2010) Effects of freezing temperature and duration of frozen storage on lipid and protein oxidation in chicken meat. Food Chem 120:1025–1030

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Spanier AM, Flores M, Mcmillin KW et al (1997) The effect of post-mortem ageing on meat flavour quality in Brangus beef. Correlation of treatments, sensory, instrumental and chemical descriptors. Food Chem 59:531–538

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Swatland HJ (2004) Progress in understanding the paleness of meat with a low pH. S Afr J Anim Sci 34(2):1–7

    Google Scholar 

  • Tang H, Gong YZ, Wu CX et al (2009) Variation of meat quality traits among five genotypes of chicken. Poult Sci 88:2212–2218

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Taylor ML, Hartnell GF, Riordan SG et al (2003) Comparison of broiler performance when fed diets containing grain from Yield Gard (MON810), Yield Gard x Roundup Ready (GA21) non transgenic control, or commercial corn. Poult Sci 82:823–830

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Thomas MH, Calloway DH (1961) Nutritional value of dehydrated foods. J Am Diet Assoc 39:105–116

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Thomas MH, Josephson ES (1970) Radiation preservation of foods and its effects on nutrients. Sci Teacher 37:59–63

    Google Scholar 

  • USDA (2009) Temperatures and chilling and freezing procedures. 9CFR Part 381.66b. Office of Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC

    Google Scholar 

  • Waldroup PW, Si J, Fritts CA (2001) Relationship of lysine and other essential amino acids on live performance and breast yield in broilers. 9th European Symposium on the Quality of Poultry Meat, Kusadasi (Turkey), 9–12 September, pp 109–115

  • Wang LJ, Byrem TM, Zarosley J et al (1999) Skeletal muscle calcium channel ryanodine binding activity in genetically unimproved and commercial turkey populations. Poult Sci 78:792–797

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Warner WD, Abell PN, Mone PE et al (1962) Nutritional value of fats in cooked meats. J Am Diet Assoc 40:422–426

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • West LC, Titus MC, VanDuyne FO (1959) Effect of freezer storage and variations in preparation on bacterial count, palatability, and thiamine content of ham loaf, Italian rice, and chicken. Food Technol 13:323–327

    Google Scholar 

  • Wilkinson SJ, Scott TA (2005) Satellite cells: a review of their physiology, manipulation and importance to muscle development. Australian Poultry Science Symposium, Sydney, Australia, 7–9 February

  • Wismer-Perdersen J (1986) Chemistry of animal tissues: water. In: Price JF, Schweigert BS (eds) The science of meat and meat products. Food & Nutrition Press, Inc, Westport, pp 141–154

    Google Scholar 

  • Yaroshenko FO, Surai PF, Yaroshenko Y et al. (2004) Theoretical background and commercial application of production of Se-enriched chicken. In: XXII WPC Itsanbul, Turkey, 8–13 June

  • Zanusso J (2002) Engraisement, Structure des muscles et qualite de la viande de vollailes, exemple du gavage chez le canard de Barbarie et de la castration chez le poulet. Ph.D. sThesis, ENSA, Toulouse, France

  • Zhuang H, Savage EM (2009) Variation and Pearson correlation coefficients of Warner-Bratzler shear force measurements within broiler breast fillets. Poult Sci 88:214–220

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Zhuang H, Savage EM (2012) Postmortem aging and freezing and thawing storage enhance ability of early deboned chicken pectoralis major muscle to hold added salt water. Poult Sci 91:1203–1209

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

This research received no specific grants from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Nasir Akbar Mir.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors contributing to the compilation of this review do not have any conflict of interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Mir, N.A., Rafiq, A., Kumar, F. et al. Determinants of broiler chicken meat quality and factors affecting them: a review. J Food Sci Technol 54, 2997–3009 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13197-017-2789-z

Download citation

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13197-017-2789-z

Keywords

Navigation