Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Poultry Science (MS)

Degree Level



Poultry Science


Casey M. Owens

Committee Member

John A. Marcy

Second Committee Member

Han-Seok Seo


Descriptive Sensory, Intrumental Analysis, Meat Texture, Poultry


Over the past few decades, broiler breast meat has changed in terms of meat quality. Meat quality has deteriorated with the rise in the occurrence of muscle myopathies. Conditions such as woody breast, which is described as pale and bulging areas of distinct hardness, compromise both the textural and technological traits that have been associated with breast meat. The Meullenet-Owens Razor Shear (MORS) method is a common method for indirectly assessing poultry meat tenderness. A blunt version of the MORS (BMORS) has been shown to be a more sensitive method at higher degrees of toughness. A slightly larger stainless steel incisor blunt blade (IMORS) may offer probe longevity and may also be useful in assessing tough meat with or without WB characteristics. Instrumental analysis was conducted on 56 or 60 d broilers that were processed and scored for woody breast (WB). Individual fillets were separated into right and left fillets and the right fillet and cooked using three different heating methods: bake, grill, or sous vide and were used to measure meat quality attributes such as cook loss, MORS force (MORSF), BMORS force (BMORSF), IMORS force (IMORS), MORS energy (MORSE), BMORS energy (BMORSE), IMORS energy (IMORSE) and peak counts of the shear curves (PC-MORS, PC-BMORS and PC-IMORS). IMORS shear values are higher (P<0.05) than both MORS and BMORS. Cook loss was higher (P<0.001) in severe woody breast fillets than normal fillets regardless of cook method. In the descriptive sensory analysis, trained panelists (n=9) evaluated normal (NORM) and severe (SEV) left fillets from the 56 d broilers used in instrumental analysis. SEV fillets had a higher score (P<0.05) for crunchiness than NORM fillets. SEV fillets cooked sous vide retained more moisture (P<0.001) than SEV fillets that were grilled or baked. Results from the instrumental analysis suggest that IMORS may offer a higher sensitivity for tenderness and textural changes related to WB and that peak counts may offer a visual measure of textural differences related to WB. Descriptive sensory analysis results suggest that certain descriptive attributes are related to WB and that the sous vide cook method may offer improvements of the textual qualities of WB.