Influence of Poultry Species, Muscle Groups, and NaCl Level on Strength, Deformability, and Water Retention in Heat-Set Muscle Gels


  • Paper No. 11934 of the Journal Series of the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service, Raleigh, NC 27695-7643.

  • The authors thank Cuddy Farms Inc., Holly Farms Inc., House of Raeford Farms Inc., and Perdue Farms Inc. for their donations of turkey and chicken for this study. In addition, they thank Dr. Francis G. Giesbrecht for his statistical advice.

  • The use of trade names in this publication does not imply endorsement by the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service, nor criticism of similar ones not mentioned.

  • Presented at the 48th Annual meeting of the Institute of Food Technologists. New Orleans, LA June, 1988.


The effects of poultry species (chicken and turkey), muscle groups (breast, thigh, and drum) and NaCl concentration (1% and 2%) on a low fat gel system were compared using measurements of shear stress (strength), shear strain (deformability), and two water retention measurements. Results showed doubling NaCl tended to double stress for all species and muscle groups and increased strain by 30–50%. Cross species differences showed higher stress in turkey gels than in chicken gels with 2% NaCl. For both species, stress, strain and water retention were lowest in breast gels with both NaCl concentrations, and strain was greater in thigh gels than in drum gels with 2% NaCl.