R. Bras. Zootec.01/Jul/2016;45(7):417-21.
Physicochemical and microbiological parameters of frozen and chilled chicken meat
With this study we aimed to evaluate and compare physicochemical and microbiological characteristics of frozen and chilled chicken meat. Only the prime cuts (breast, thighs, and drumsticks) were considered for the analysis of chemical composition, pH, color, water-holding capacity (WHC), thawing-cooking loss (TCL), and shear force (SF). For microbiological analysis, mesophilic bacteria, thermotolerant coliforms, and Salmonella spp. were considered. The frozen and chilled chicken meat showed no PSE (pale, soft, and exudative) or DFD (dark, firm, and dry) type of anomalies. The chromaticity showed higher redness in the breast (a* = 0.23) and yellowness in the thigh (b* = 5.64) for the frozen meat. The chilled meat showed better values for water-holding capacity in the thigh (69.19%) and thawing-cooking loss in the breast meat (18.84%). Samples of frozen and chilled chicken meat showed unconformities as to the percentage of occurrence of Salmonella spp., since the Brazilian legislation determines the absence of these pathogens. Both forms of preservation by freezing and chilling are recommended to maintain the physicochemical characteristics. In turn, we observed that the microbiological patterns can be maintained by the both forms of meat preservation by cold, mainly by freezing, provided there are satisfactory sanitary conditions in handling pre and post-slaughter of poultry.