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Keywords:

  • cooking;
  • modeling;
  • performance standards;
  • poultry;
  • Salmonella

ABSTRACT:  Inadequate cooking of poultry products may lead to human foodborne infections. The use of mathematical models that describe heat transfer during cooking of chicken leg quarters may help in developing safer food products and minimizing time for cooking. The objective of this study was to develop regression models that predict cooking time required to reach internal temperatures of 71.1, 73.9, 76.7, and 82.2 °C in chicken leg quarters. Samples that had different weights, thicknesses, and initial internal temperatures were cooked in an air–steam impingement oven at temperature of 232.2 °C, humidity of 60%, and air velocity of 1.4 m/min. A thermocouple probe (type K) connected with a data acquisition system was inserted into the coldest point of each chicken leg quarter. Samples were cooked until they reached an internal temperature higher than 82.2 °C. The collected data of each sample in the data acquisition system were used to develop regression models that depend on sample weight, thickness, and initial temperature in predicting cooking times. Sample weight, thickness, and initial internal temperature had significant effects on the cooking time. The results of these models would be helpful for ready-to-eat poultry processors to meet lethality performance standards, and ensuring the safety and quality of skin on, bone in chicken leg quarters cooked via air–steam impingement ovens.