The Effect of Superchilling and Rapid Freezing on the HADH Assay for Chicken and Turkey

Paul Lawrance1, Mark Woolfe2, Chrissie Tsampazi3

1 LGC, Queens Road, Teddington, Middlesex, TW11 0LY
2 Formerly Food Standards Agency
3 Food Standards Agency, Aviation House, 125 Kingsway, London, WC2B 6NH


    The EC Poultrymeat Marketing Standards Regulation (1906/90), which is now incorporated into Council Regulation 1234/2007, requires that poultrymeat (whole birds and portions) is only marketed in certain conditions – ‘fresh’, ‘frozen’ or ‘quick frozen’ and defines the temperature conditions for each category. Newer refrigeration technologies are however, now available which may not comply with the specified conditions and could result in mis-labelling of poultrymeat. A method which measures the activity of an enzyme (HADH) in meat and poultry has previously been used to distinguish between chilled poultry and that which has been frozen and then thawed. In this study, the HADH method has been applied to chilled and frozen chicken and turkey using the new refrigeration technologies, to assess the extent to which the method can distinguish between these and poultry which has been conventionally chilled or frozen. The study showed that the HADH assay was able to distinguish between poultry that had been frozen, either conventionally or using a new rapid-freezing technique, and fresh or chilled poultry but was unable to distinguish between normally chilled poultry and a new superchilling process. In addition, it is proposed that the procedure used to press juice from the meat should be modified to reduce variability, and that a new cut-off limit (R1 = 0.50) should be adopted for chicken.

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