Wooden breast (WB) abnormalities of broilers compromise the quality of fresh and processed meat. Yet, no standardised classification method for evaluating WB currently exists. We here provide a novel classification method to determine the severity of WB by palpation. Data were evaluated by one-way anova. The classification method proved robust and reliable to classify broiler filets into three distinct categories (no, moderate and severe WB). This was supported by histological findings, demonstrating less muscle tissue in WB-affected samples. Moreover, moisture content, resistance to compression, mobile water fraction, drip loss and cooking loss, as well as intramuscular and surface pH also increased with WB. Using the classification method, we demonstrated that severe WB increased the diversity of the endogenous microflora and promoted growth of Enterobacteriaceae. In conclusion, the presented classification method correlates with known meat quality traits and will be a valuable tool for future studies on WB.
Dalgaard, L. B., Rasmussen, M. K., Bertram, H. C., Jensen, J. A., Møller, H. S., Aaslyng, M. D., … Young, J. F. (2018). Classification of wooden breast myopathy in chicken pectoralis major by a standardised method and association with conventional quality assessments. International Journal of Food Science and Technology, 53(7), 1744–1752. https://doi.org/10.1111/ijfs.13759