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The Incidence of Muscle Abnormalities in Broiler Breast Meat – A Review
Korean J. Food Sci. An. 2018;38:835-850
Published online October 31, 2018;
© 2018 Korean Society for Food Science of Animal Resources

Xi Huang1 and Dong Uk Ahn2,*

1College of Food Science & Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Egg Processing Technology Local Joint National Engineering Research Center, National R&D Center for Egg Processing, Wuhan, Hubei 430070, China
2Department of Animal Science, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA
Correspondence to: Dong Uk Ahn
Department of Animal Science, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA
Tel: +1-515-294-6595
Received June 21, 2018; Revised July 13, 2018; Accepted July 13, 2018.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
The dramatic improvements in the growth rate and breast muscle size and yield in broilers through the intensive genetic selection, and the improvement in nutrition and management over the past 50 years have introduced serious abnormalities that influenced the quality of breast meat. The abnormalities include pale-soft-exudative (PSE) conditions, deep pectoral muscle (DPM) myopathy, spaghetti meat (SM), white striping (WS), and woody breast (WB) that have serious negative implications to the broiler meat industry. The incidences of PSE and DPM have been known for several decades, and their prevalence, etiology and economic impact have been well discussed. However, other abnormalities such as SM, WS and WB conditions have been reported just for few years although these conditions have been known for some time. The newly emerging quality issues in broilers are mainly associated with the Pectoralis major muscles, and the incidences have been increased dramatically in some regions of the world in recent years. As high as 90% of the broilers are affected by the abnormalities, which are expected to cause from $200 million to $1 billion economic losses to the U.S. poultry industry per year. So, this review mainly discusses the histopathological characteristics and biochemical changes in the breast muscles with the emphasis on the newly emerging abnormalities (SM, WS, and WB) although other abnormalities are also discussed. The impacts of the anomalies on the nutritional, functional, mechanical and sensory quality of the meat and their implications to the poultry industry are discussed.
Keywords : broiler, muscle abnormalities, histopathological, characteristics, biochemical changes, meat quality

October 2018, 38 (5)