• electrognathography;
  • electromyography;
  • Meullenet-Owens razor shear;
  • poultry meat;
  • tenderness perception

ABSTRACT:  The relationship between textural perception of poultry meat and the masticatory activity and chewing behavior of 7 subjects were investigated. A total of 90 broilers were slaughtered at 7 wk of age and deboned at either 1.25, 4, or 24 h postmortem (PM). Sensory analysis on cooked meat was conducted by 7 trained meat descriptive panelists. Panelists were asked to evaluate initial hardness, hardness of mass, cohesiveness of mass, and number of chews related to meat tenderness. Tenderness of cooked meat was also predicted instrumentally by both the Meullenet–Owens razor shear (MORS) and Blunt–Meullenet–Owens razor shear (BMORS). Masticatory muscle (anterior-temporalis and masseter) activities during chewing were measured by electromyography (EMG) and 19 parameters were used to characterize muscle activity during mastication. Jaw movement velocity and trajectory to characterize the chewing behavior was also recorded by electrognathography (EGN) during mastication. Significant differences among fillets deboned at various times PM were found in all sensory attributes. Significant differences in sensory attributes, muscle activities, and jaw movements among subjects were also observed. It was found that poultry meat texture was better predicted by muscle activity parameters (EMG) than by chewing behavior (EGN). Overall, EMG parameters calculated from mid and late chewing cycles were better predictors of poultry texture perception than initial cycles, indicating that comminuting of poultry meat is an important aspect of its texture perception.