Assessment of chicken breast meat quality after freeze/thaw abuse using magnetic resonance imaging techniques.

Frelka JC, Phinney DM, Yang X, Knopp MV, Heldman DR, Wick MP, Vodovotz Y
J Sci Food Agric 99 844-853 01/30/2019


BACKGROUND: Freezing/thawing meat can result in quality losses as a result of the formation, melting and reformation of ice. These changes in water state can result in alterations in texture, water holding and other key quality attributes. It was hypothesized that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could quantify changes in mobility and localization of water as a function of freezing/thawing, which could be correlated with quality measurements.

RESULTS: Drip loss increased significantly for unbrined samples by over 100% after each freeze/thaw cycle (1.5% to 3.3% to 5.3% drip loss). Brine uptake decreased 50% after 2 cycles (from 53% to 28% mass uptake). Drip loss for brined samples increased after 2 cycles; other attributes were not significantly affected. MRI showed brined samples had less change in both proton density and T

CONCLUSION: As freeze/thaw damage increased, meat quality was reduced in both brined and unbrined chicken breasts, with more prominent changes in unbrined meat. These decreases in quality correlated with changes, albeit small, in water mobility and localization as measured by MRI. High-field NMR micro-imaging showed more dramatic changes in T

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