Tumble Marination Strategies to Improve pH, Color, and Water-Holding Capacity in Pale, Soft, and Exudative (PSE) Broiler Breast Fillets


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Virginia Tech


Recently, there has been an increase in the incidence of pale soft and exudative poultry meat. Pale, soft, and exudative (PSE) meat is caused by a decline in pH early postmortem while carcass temperatures are still high. This decrease in pH leads to protein denaturation attributing to the pale color and poor water holding capacity (WHC) that is characteristic of this lesser quality meat. Pale, soft, and exudative meat has economic implications for processors with losses ranging between $2-4 million each year. Marination with salt and phosphates has been shown to improve protein functionality, thereby reducing lost meat yield and improving meat color, WHC, and texture. However, there are few studies relating marination with phosphates to improvements in PSE meat. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine if color, WHC, and texture improvements could be obtained in PSE meat via marination with various phosphate and NaCl treatments without altering the quality and oxidative stability of normal or PSE meat. In Experiment 1, 12 phosphates were evaluated for improvements in pH, color, and WHC of PSE meat. From these, five phosphates were chosen based on pH, color, and WHC improvements for Experiment 2. The marinades used in Experiment 2 increased the pH, decreased the L* values of the pale fillets, and improved water holding capacity. Thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances, sensory, and microbial analysis studies concluded that marination with high pH phosphates can reduce the undesirable characteristics of PSE meat without increasing the development of oxidation, altering flavor, or reducing shelf-life.



marination, phosphates, color, water-holding capacity, PSE meat, pH