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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2004

Water-holding capacity in chicken breast muscle is enhanced by pyruvate and reduced by creatine supplements

Young, JF; Karlsson, AH; Henckel, P


In commercial production, chickens are subjected to feed withdrawal prior to slaughter and exposed to stress during transport and handling of the animals at the slaughterhouse; this causes plasma glucose and glycogen stores in liver and muscle to decrease, which has a negative impact on meat quality. The aim of the present study was to investigate how supplementation of the energy complements creatine and pyruvate during the fasting period would affect postmortem pH decrease, water-holding capacity, and color of the meat. Female Ross 208 broilers were supplemented with glucose combined with either pyruvate or creatine via the drinking water for 18 or 42 h prior to slaughter, i.e., before and throughout the fasting period. Chickens were slaughtered at 42 or 43 d of age. Temperature and pH were measured at 1, 10, 30, and 45 min and 1, 2, 4, 8, and 12 h postmortem. The results showed that the pyruvate and glucose supplementation increased the pH at 45 min postmortem by 0.25 units and decreased drip loss of musculus pectoralis major (PM) by 50 to 65% in chickens supplemented for 42 h. The creatine and glucose supplementation reduced pH at 3 and 4 h postmortem by 0.32 to 0.42 units, increased the lightness (L*) by 2.3 to 5.6 units, and increased drip loss by 51 to 137% in the PM of chickens supplemented for 18 and 42 h. Pyruvate and glucose supplementation thus appear beneficial but whether this is concomitant with an overall improvement in meat quality remains to be determined.


chicken; creatine; meat quality; pyruvate; supplementation

Published in

Poultry Science
2004, Volume: 83, number: 3, pages: 400-405

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Food Science

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