Date of Graduation

8-2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Poultry Science (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Poultry Science

Advisor

Casey M. Owens

Committee Member

Jean-François Meullenet

Second Committee Member

Billy M. Hargis

Third Committee Member

Jason K. Apple

Abstract

White striping is an emerging issue in the broiler meat industry which causes concerns among the producers. The condition is characterized by the occurrence of white striations, parallel to the direction of muscle fibers, mainly in broiler breast fillets and thighs. Fillets can be categorized as NORM (normal or no striping), MOD (moderate) and SEV (severe) depending on the degree of white striping. As a result of few previous research studies on the condition, there is no information available on the impact of white striping on the consumer acceptance and various meat quality attributes. Our hypothesis was that the occurrence of the condition could be associated with tissue changes in meat and the physical appearance of the striations on the meat may affect the purchase intent of the product. The present study was intended to determine the consumer acceptance, meat quality and pathological changes associated with different degrees of white striping. The effects of growth rate, strain, gender, and dietary vitamin E level on the occurrence of condition were also evaluated. The results from the present study showed that MOD and SEV degrees of white striping reduced (P < 0.05) the consumer acceptance of the broiler breast fillets due to its marbled or fatty appearance. However, the condition did not show (P > 0.05) any effect on cooked meat quality attributes, mainly tenderness. Serologic profile and the histopathological findings indicated chronic myopathic tissue changes associated with higher degrees of white striping. These tissue changes were also manifested as increase in fat (P < 0.05) and decrease (P < 0.05) in protein contents as the degree of white striping increased from NORM to SEV. The occurrence of MOD and SEV degrees was closely associated (P < 0.05) with heavier birds or increased growth rate in broilers. Nonetheless, the incidence of the condition showed neither any strain/gender predilection nor relation to dietary vitamin E level. In conclusion, white striping is a growth associated myopathic condition seen in fast growing broiler birds which can affect the consumer acceptance and proximate composition of broiler breast fillets.

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