Organic Chicken Meat Quality

Abstract: This study was conducted to compare the meat quality and selected fatty acids profile of two different slow-growing broiler genotypes (Hubbard S757; S757 and Hubbard Grey Barred JA; GB-JA) fed diets supplemented with dry oregano (Origanum vulgare L., OV; 10 g/kg basal diets) or lemon balm leaves (Melissa officinalis L., MO; 10 g/kg basal diets) under organic housing system. It is concluded that slow-growing genotypes had no effect on L* parameter of the breast, thigh and abdominal fat meat quality. Two hundred and forty chicks were allocated randomly into 4 experimental groups according to a 2x2 factorial arrangement. Birds were raised until 98 days in order to achieve an acceptable market live weight. The b* colours of breast and thigh meat were significant different among genotypes and also a* colour of breast meat of GB-JA increased (P<0.05). Slow-growing female broilers produced a higher dry matter content and lower fat content of breast meat as compared with males. There were the higher concentrations of linoleic (C18:2n-6) acid and the lower concentrations of linolenic acid (C18:3n-3) in genotypes fed with supplemented dry oregano or lemon balm leaves diet. Sex affected total unsaturated fatty acids (UFA) composition, polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) and linoleic acid, were higher in slow growing males breast meat as compared with females breast meat. These results suggested that the slow-growing genotypes might had influenced the colour of breast and thigh meat, although overall meat quality was not affected under the organic system.

Reference: Eleroglu, H., et al. (2013). Comparison of meat quality and fatty acid profile in slow-growing chicken genotypes fed diets supplemented with Origanum vulgare or Melissa officinalis leaves under the organic system. Italian Journal of Animal Science 12(3): e64. Online: