Campus Units

Animal Science

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Achieving Sustainable Production of Poultry Meat Volume 1

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Last Page



Colour is a crucial criterion that determines the consumer acceptance of meat products. Consumers can rapidly assess the visual appearance of fresh meat, and colour causes an immediate positive or negative psychological response (Nanke et al., 1998). Consumers know what fresh or processed meat colour should look like and relate the colour to the product quality, safety and storage history (Kropf, 1980; Seideman et al., 1984; Allen et al., 1997, 1998). In case of U.S. beef industry, about 15% of retail beef is discounted in price due to discolouration, which can be estimated to annual revenue losses of 1 billion dollars (Liu et al., 1995; Mancini and Hunt, 2005). Despite no available estimation of economic losses for poultry meat, the cost reduction caused by surface discolouration in poultry meat is likely to be considerable (Kuttappan et al., 2012). This chapter reviews the fundamentals of meat pigments; the colour of fresh, cooked, cured and irradiated poultry meats; the mechanism and prevention of discolouration and methods for colour measurement.


This chapter is published as Nam, K. C., Lee, E. J., and Ahn, D. U. (2016). Chap. 14. The colour of poultry meat: understanding, measuring and maintaining product quality in Achieving Sustainable Production of Poultry Meat Volume 1: Safety, quality and sustainability. S. Ricke (Ed). Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing, Cambridge, UK. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing Limited



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