Effect Of Production And Processing Methods Production Factors

Production aspects that may influence the flavor of poultry include breed, sex, age, feed composition, and management. However, research findings regarding the effects of these factors are often inconsistent. An extensive investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 1960 compared the flavor of 2,000 chickens grown under different production practices and concluded that modern birds (those grown in 1956) have as much flavor as old-style birds (1930s) regardless of the differences in breed and ration (1). On the contrary, some other reports indicated that broilers on rations containing dairy products produced meat with more flavor and that corn-fed poultry was more flavorful than poultry fed barley, oats, and wheat (2). Breast meat of older birds may have more flavor and odor intensity, whereas birds reared at low stocking density could produce thigh meat with stronger flavor (3).

Different species of poultry have different phospholipid profiles, and within one species the phospholipid profile is closely influenced by the fat composition of feed (4). One of the most significant findings concerning the effect of feed composition on poultry flavor was the determination of the responsible ingredients for the fishy off-flavor. It was found and confirmed that the fishy flavor was due to the presence of fish meal, fish oil, linseed oil, and other highly unsaturated fatty acids in the ration (2,5). The addition of alpha-tocopherol to feed reduces the fishy flavor to some extent. Dietary vitamin E also contributes to the oxidative stability of refrigerated and frozen turkey breast meat (6).

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