The purpose of this study was to characterize the relationship between chicken breast quality and sensory attributes with chicken thigh quality and sensory attributes. Whole chicken carcasses were fabricated into nine-piece traditional cut chicken in accordance with Canadian Food Inspection Agency and United States Department of Agriculture specifications. Following fabrication, right side breast and thigh samples were assessed for quality (pH, instrumental color, 48 h drip loss, and instrumental texture). Sensory attributes (tenderness, juiciness, flavor, and acceptability) using a trained sensory panel and cooking loss were assessed on the left side breast and thigh samples. Correlation coefficients between all traits were computed, and meaningful traits were further analyzed using regression. Breast and thigh pH were weakly correlated (r = 0.25; P = 0.07), breast and thigh color [lightness (L*), redness (a*), and yellowness (b*)] were weakly correlated (r ≤ 0.30; P ≥ 0.04), and breast and thigh 48 h drip loss were moderately correlated (r = 0.35; P = 0.01). Breast and thigh sensory tenderness were moderately correlated (r = 0.38; P < 0.01), whereas all other sensory parameters measured between breast and thigh samples were not significantly correlated (P ≥ 0.24). Overall, breast quality and sensory attributes were generally weakly correlated with thigh quality and sensory attributes.
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