Wooden breasts may show up in larger chickens

(04/06/16) BATON ROUGE, La. – Wooden breast is a recent phenomenon in chicken meat, but Louisiana consumers aren’t likely to come across it, according to LSU AgCenter experts.

The condition is most obvious on skinless chicken breasts, said AgCenter meat researcher Shannon Cruzen. “It’s hard to the touch, that’s why it’s called ‘wooden,’” she said.

Wooden breast was first mentioned in research literature in a single article in 2013, Cruzen said. It’s the result of normal cells being replaced by collagen, which gives the meat a harder texture.

The condition doesn’t occur in all chickens, said AgCenter poultry specialist Theresia Lavergne. It’s usually found only in heavier chickens with large breasts.

Most Louisiana processors grow smaller birds for the fast food and retail markets, Lavergne said. Larger birds produced in Louisiana and other states generally go to restaurants.

“The faster a bird grows and the larger it gets, the more the symptoms are expressed,” Cruzen said. “We don’t know the cause, incidence or ultimate effect.”

4/6/2016 8:55:16 PM
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