Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Poultry Science (MS)

Degree Level



Poultry Science


Casey M. Owens

Committee Member

Jason K. Apple

Second Committee Member

John A. Marcy

Third Committee Member

Han-Seok Seo


Biological sciences; Broiler; Myopathy; Sensory


Recently, the poultry industry has encountered an emerging muscle myopathy known as woody breast (WB), which is characterized by hardness throughout the Pectoralis major muscle. Two experiments were performed to assess sensory characteristics and acceptability of WB meat and to determine the effect of broiler age on meat quality factors in varying severities of WB. Fillets were categorized as normal (NORM), moderate (MOD), or severe (SEV) WB. In Experiment 1 (Exp. 1), descriptive (n=9 trained panelists) and consumer (n=74 panelists) sensory analysis was conducted with NORM and SEV fillets at hot and cold serving temperatures (HOTNORM, COLDNORM, HOTSEV, COLDSEV). In Experiment 2 (Exp. 2), a consumer sensory panel (n=70 panelists) evaluated acceptability of normal and WB meat from broilers processed at 45 or 63-d of age. Meat quality factors, including compression force, sarcomere length, MORS energy (MORSE), BMORS energy (BMORSE), cook loss, and peak counts of the shear curves (PC-MORS and PC-BMORS), were measured on broilers processed at 45, 63, and 70-d of age. In Exp. 1, descriptive sensory results showed that COLDSEV fillets had greater (P<0.05) hardness than HOTSEV fillets. Consumer sensory results indicated higher (P<0.05) overall impression and chicken texture scores for NORM fillets than SEV fillets. HOTNORM fillets had higher (P<0.05) chicken texture JAR scores than HOTSEV, while COLDNORM fillets had higher (P<0.05) chicken juiciness JAR scores than COLDSEV. Consumer sensory analysis in Exp. 2 resulted in 3 segmented groups (Group A, B, C) among the panelists based on overall liking of the samples. Panelist responses indicated that Group C had higher (P<0.05) overall liking scores for SEV fillets than NORM fillets. Meat quality analysis from Exp. 2 demonstrated greater (P<0.05) compression force, sarcomere length, and cook loss in SEV fillets than NORM fillets. Both MORSE and BMORSE values increased (P<0.05) with age, and SEV fillets had greater (P<0.05) PC-BMORS than MOD and NORM fillets. Results suggest descriptive attributes and consumer acceptability responses are related to WB. Meat quality is also affected by both WB and age, and compression force and peak counts may serve as an appropriate measurement to distinguish WB from normal fillets.