Estimation of factors associated with the occurrence of white striping in broiler breast fillets

V. A. Kuttappan, V. B. Brewer, A. Mauromoustakos, S. R. McKee, J. L. Emmert, J. F. Meullenet, C. M. Owens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Broiler breast fillets are sometimes characterized grossly by white parallel striations in the direction of the muscle fibers, and the condition is referred to as white striping. Depending on the severity of white striping, fillets can be classified as normal (NORM), moderate (MOD), or severe (SEV). The present study was intended to determine the factors associated with the occurrence of white striping in broiler breast fillets. Broiler birds (59 to 63 d) of 4 different commercial high-yielding strains (both males and females) fed with industrial type or phase-feeding regimens, were processed and ready-to-cook carcass weight was recorded. The carcasses were deboned at either 4 or 6 h postmortem. Fillets were scored for the degree of white striping at 24 h postmortem, and dimensions of fillets (length, width, cranial thickness, and caudal thickness), pH, color (L*, a* and b* values), cook loss, and Meullenet- Owens razor shear energy (MORSE) values were determined. About 55.8% of the birds used in the study showed some degree of white striping with MOD and SEV categories as 47.5 and 8.3%, respectively. Higher degrees of white striping were significantly (P < 0.05) related to higher cranial fillet thickness and ready-tocook weights. The occurrence of SEV degrees of white striping was accompanied with increased b* values or yellowness of the meat. The growth differences in strains could influence the incidence of this condition, but feeding regimens and chill hour during processing did not. In addition, the degree of white striping did not show any significant (P > 0.05) relationship between various meat quality parameters such as pH, L*, a*, cook loss, and MORSE. In conclusion, the results of this study suggest that there is a greater chance of higher degrees of white striping associated with heavier birds, but the condition is not related to any major changes in cooked meat quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)811-819
Number of pages9
JournalPoultry science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Broiler breast
  • Fillet thickness
  • Meat quality
  • Strain
  • White striping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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