Pectoralis muscle of turkey displays divergent function as correlated with meat quality

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Virginia Tech

Fresh turkey meat color is influenced by a myriad of biological factors which include muscle fiber type composition and heme protein concentrations. These factors either contribute to or are subject to the biochemical events involved in the conversion of muscle to meat. Subtle deviations in the processing environment can also result in aberrant fresh meat quality development and may ultimately alter the quality characteristics of cooked product. Our objective was to describe the underlying cause and significance of two-toning in fresh turkey breast. In the first experiment, pectoralis muscles were collected and subjected to image processing software to describe color of fresh turkey. In the second experiment, shackling time was tested as an aggravator of fresh turkey color. Results showed turkey breast possess two-lobes that differ in pH, drip loss, energy metabolism and muscle fiber type composition. Results also showed fresh turkey color was enhanced during the time from stun to exsanguination (P < 0.05). These results suggest inherent differences in breast muscle are responsible for variations in fresh turkey color.

turkey quality, postmortem glycolysis, meat color