Effects of salt-curing on physicochemical and technological properties of Japanese quail breast meat

S. Ribarski1*, H. Lukanov2, I. Penchev3, A. Genchev2, E. Lyutskanova2

1Department of Morphology, Physiology and Nutrition, Faculty of Agriculture, Trakia University, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
2Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Trakia University, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
3Department of Pharmacology, Animal Physiology and Physiological Chemistry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Trakia University, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

Abstract. The purpose of the study was to establish the physico-chemical and technological properties of salt-cured breast meat from Japanese quails. It was found out that the most dramatic changes occurred during the first 4 h after the slaughter. During that period, the meat temperature decreased almost linearly from 39.8 to 10°С. The values of рН declines between post slaughter min 30 and hour 4 from 6.0 to 5.59 (Р<0,001). The curing of meat with 3% or 1.7% NaCl solutions did not have any effect on water holding capacity. After defrosting of frozen salt-cured meat, the water holding capacity was considerably improved (11 – 12.4%), consequently to loss of water. Japanese quail breast meat cured in salt solutions increased its weight by 7.7 – 8.4% on the average. After cooking, salted breast meat lost about 19 – 25% of its weight. During the first 24 h after the slaughter, L*a*b* values of m. Pectoralis increased. Within this period, lightness increased almost linearly from 41.28 to 45.51 at an increment ΔL * during the first post slaughter half an hour of 5.38 (Р<0.01) and ΔL* of 5.21 between min 30 and hour 4 (Р<0.05). Most substantial changes occurred in colour coordinates а* and b* between the 4th and 24th post slaughter hours, when they increased by 16.5 to 19.7%. Salt-curing increased significantly the values of L* and b*. The a* value was reduced (Р<0.001). The analysis of L*a*b* values of salt-cured breast meat from Japanese quails did not take into consideration the effect of salt solution concentration. The meat colour index (MCI) however demonstrated that salt-curing resulted in lightening of meat samples with influence of salt solution concentration. The curing of m. Pectoralis with 3% NaCl increased the colour index by 19.5% (Р<0.001), while curing in 1.7% NaCl resulted in considerably lighter meat – 58.6% (P<0.01).

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