BACKGROUND: This experiment was designed to examine the effect of dietary humate supplementation primarily on pH and colour parameters of carcasses, breast fillets and drumsticks and, secondarily on performance and carcass characteristics in broilers.
RESULTS: A total of 240 male broiler chicks (Ross-308) were randomly allocated to four dietary treatments varying in supplemental humate level (0, 0.1, 0.2 and 0.3% for H0, H1, H2 and H3). Dietary humate supplementation did not affect performance traits and slaughter, hot carcass weights and yields. Carcass-related variables (pH, L*, a*, b*, H* and C*) were responsive to the dietary treatments. The L*, a*, b*, and C* values for drumstick muscles were higher than those for breast muscles. Except for the L* value, meat colour parameters changed due to packaging. The a* value was higher and b* value was lower for vacuum packaged breast and drumsticks than for those aerobic packaged. Storage period affected colour parameters; while L*, b*, H* and C* values were higher for drumstick skin than for drumstick meat; the a* value was greater in drumstick meat than in skin.
CONCLUSION: pH and colour parameters of carcasses, breast fillets and drumsticks of broilers were improved by dietary humate supplementation. However, responses of broiler performance and slaughter and carcass characteristics were minimal. Copyright © 2008 Society of Chemical Industry