April 4, 2016


What's causing woody breast? US chicken industry want to know


The US chicken industry has allotted some US$250,000 for research projects to determine the causes of and find solutions to the muscle abnormality found in some chicken meat, known as woody breast.


The woody breast is hard to the touch and often pale in color, and has poor quality texture.


Tom Super, National Chicken Council senior vice president of communications, maintained that the muscle abnormality affects only a very small percentage of chickens and that it has no food safety or health concerns for consumers.


"The exact cause is not known, so industry has embarked on research to determine the exact causes as well as possible solutions to this quality issue", he said.


He said that through the US Poultry & Egg Association, in conjunction with geneticists, veterinarians and animal scientists, the industry is allotting more than $250,000 on four separate research projects at independent universities and USDA's Agriculture Research Service to understand the root cause of this muscle condition and "remediate it as soon as possible".


Massimiliano Petracci, a food scientist at Italy's University of Bologna, saidnot only has the US been affected by woody breast but also Spain, the UK and Brazil, among others, the Wall Street Journal reported.


Petracci added that woody breast account for 5% to 10% of the boneless breast fillets sold worldwide.-Rick Alberto

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