The effects of three moisture levels (0, 10, and 20% added water) and three processing temperatures (115.6, 121.1, and 126.7 C) on texture and collagen solubilization of fowl meat gels were examined. Meat gels were formulated from spent fowl breast meat that were cooked in water (71.1 C internal temperature) prior to heat processing. The water-cooked gels were heat processed at the three temperatures to an F0 value of 6.0 (Z value = 10 C). The addition of 20% water resulted in a reduction of the soluble collagen compared to the 10% water-added treatment. The lowest processing temperature increased the soluble collagen compared to the highest processing temperature. Shear stress and hardness decreased as the amount of added water was increased; and the lowest processing temperature resulted in the lowest hardness values. The increase in soluble collagen parallels the decrease in hardness in the samples processed at the lowest temperature. Because each sample was processed to equivalent F values, the lowest processing temperature had the longest exposure time (26 min at 115.6 C, 12 min at 121.1 C, and 6 min at 126.7 C). The longer exposure to moist heat allowed for greater collagen solubilization and lower hardness values. The 0% added-water treatment had the highest yield from before and after heat processing. However the 10% water-added samples had the greatest overall water retention when each treatment was placed on an equal level of initial water content. Furthermore, the highest processing temperature (shortest processing time) resulted in the greatest yield and moisture retention compared to the other processing temperatures.
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