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The influence of extraction and precipitation pH on the dry matter yield of broiler dark meat
In recent years, demand for white meat products has resulted in excess supplies and depressed prices of leg meat in the United States. One approach to increasing the utilization of dark meat is to extract the pigments and fat to make the resulting product more acceptable for the production of further-processed meat products. To date, such technologies have been inefficient (low yields) or have resulted in products of limited use. Three replicate trials were conducted to determine the effects of extraction pH and precipitation pH on the wet and dry extract yields of boneless, skinless broiler leg meat. Broiler leg meat was chopped with added water and extracted by adjusting the pH to 8.0, 8.5, 9.0, 9.5, 10.0, 10.5, 11.0, 11.5, and 12.0 while mixing. After determination of extraction yields, each extraction was adjusted to pH 3.8, 4.0, 4.2, 4.4, 4.6, 4.8, 5.0, and 5.2 to determine the effect of precipitate pH on total wet and dry yields. Dry yield increased with extraction pH and precipitation pH. However, the greatest yields, over 70%, were at extraction pH values above 10.5, which have been associated with the production of potentially harmful by-products. Combinations of extraction pH values between 9 and 10.5 and precipitation pH values above 4.4 resulted in dry yields of approximately 65%. These results indicate that pH extraction and precipitation may result in economically viable yields. Further research is needed to determine the optimal conditions of yield, composition, and functionality.