The impact of cooling methods on microbiological quality of broiler carcasses
Keywords:poultry carcasses, microbiological parameters, cooling
The aim of this work was to compare two chilling methods, combined (aerosol) and water chilling, in terms of their effectiveness in chilling of different weight categories of broiler chickens. At the same time microbial associations of different weight categories of broiler chickens were evaluated. Samples were collected in an approved establishment and poultry carcasses were divided according to weight and chilling methods into five categories. The first four categories were chilled using combined chilling method and fifth category was chilled with water. The temperature of the breast muscle before and after chilling and microbiological parameters (total viable count, Enterobacteriaceae, Salmonella) was measured. By comparing the temperature of the breast muscle after combined chilling method was not achieved in the breast muscles temperature below 4 °C in all weight categories. In any case, the lowest average temperature has been reached in the weight category <1.2 kg (4.9 °C) and with increasing weight, the average temperature was rising, and the highest was in weight category 1.8 to 2.5 kg (10.8 °C). Poultry carcasses were subsequently divided into portions and after cutting were chilled up to a temperature below 4 °C. In poultry carcasses chilled by water, the average temperature of the breast muscle after 20 minutes in the water bath was even higher (19.6 °C) compared to combine chilling. Thus chilled poultry carcasses were frozen up to -18 °C in a core of muscles. Comparing the microbiological contamination in different weight categories and chilling techniques, we found that the lowest total viable count (TVC) before and after chilling was in the lowest category and the difference before chilling was significantly lower comparing with all other categories. Conversely TVC after chilling by water was decreased. In comparing the number of Enterobacteriaceae before and after chilling, a similar pattern of contamination as above was found. Microbiological examination of samples of poultry carcasses did not detect the presence of Salmonella.
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