Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Food Science and Technology

Major Professor

Curtis C. Melton

Committee Members

H. Dwight Loveday, Herschel V. Shirley


Ninety chickens were assigned at random to 1 of 8 treatment groups or to a control group in each replication. The 8 treatment groups received electrical stimulation (ES) of 50 or 100 volts for a duration of 25 pulses (25p) or until no response (NS) was detected at a point in the slaughter sequence of either pre-stick (PS) or pre-chill (PC); the control group received no electrical stimulation other than stunning. The treatment groups were arranged in a 2 x 2 x 2 factorial design. Two hundred seventy-nine birds were analyzed in three replications to study the possibility of improving the tenderness, or at least preventing the toughening, of "chill-pack" processed chickens. Measurements made included Warner-Bratzler shear force, an objective measure of tenderness; sarcomere length; and expressible moisture index (EMI), an indication of water holding capacity (WHC) which is positively correlated with tenderness. Warner-Bratzler shear values were significantly different between replications (P<.01) and between the PS and PC treatments as groups (P<.05), although neither group was different from the control (P>.10). The interaction between replication and treatment was significant (P<.05). There was no difference in sarcomere lengths among any of the individual treatments or due to any of the factors studied. EMI was significantly different between replications (P<.01) and between PS and PC stimulation groups (P<.01), but neither group differed significantly from the control (P>.10). Results indicate that electrical stimulation applied prior to chilling may be a feasible way to reduce toughening in chill-pack chicken.

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