“Woody breast” could bite the chicken business

The poultry industry has a fowl problem: an emerging phenomenon called “woody breast.” While it’s not harmful to humans, the condition causes chicken breasts to be tougher because of hard or woody fibers that lace the meat. As much as 10 percent of boneless and skinless breast meat may show signs of woody breast, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Even though it’s harmless to humans, diners aren’t exactly pleased when they’re served up a plate of woody chicken. In one study, a consumer panel described the affected meat as “tough,” “chewy” and “doesn’t feel right in the mouth.”

Breeding for bigger, faster-growing chickens could be tied to the emergence of woody breast, The Journal noted, citing food scientist Massimiliano Petracci. While it’s unappetizing to diners, the emergence of woody breast could spell financial problems for chicken producers such as Perdue Farms.

— source cbsnews.com

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