Fast-growing chickens presents texture issue for the industry | Food Dive



Fast-growing chickens presents texture issue for the industry


Jessi Devenyns


March 20, 2019

Dive Brief:

After years of breeding chickens to grow rapidly and produce the maximum amount of breast muscle possible, poultry producers are running into problems. They include woody breasts, similar to chewing leather, and squishy fillets known as “spaghetti meat,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

Researchers at the University of Arkansas estimated it will take an extra $200 million in industry expenses for companies to identify and divert breast fillets that are too tough, squishy or striped with bands of white tissue to sell in restaurants or grocery stores.

Some commercial poultry consumers such as Wendy’s and Whole Foods have switched to purchasing smaller, slower-growing birds in an effort to circumvent undesired textures, The Wall Street Journal noted. Chicken industry officials are confident they will be able to minimize the meat texture problems caused by genetic selection, but it will take several years to do so.

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Dive Insight:

Texture is an emerging challenge within the poultry industry. After decades of working to produce more chickens faster, breeders can now grow a 6.3-pound birds in 47 days, according to the National Chicken Council — roughly twice as fast as 50 years ago. Although this rate of production can be beneficial for the bottom line — chicken breasts can be sold at a 13% premium compared to overall wholesale chicken meat prices, The Wall Street Journal noted — it can actually be detrimental to sales if consumers don’t like the taste. Even if scientists are unsure as to what is causing these strange textures, consumers are noticing the change and that can hurt sales. Chicken producers have seen a drop in demand recently and these textures don’t help…

FINISH READING: Fast-growing chickens presents texture issue for the industry | Food Dive

TRANSLATES TO: Poultry Industry Scared


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