Microbiological, Physicochemical, and Histological Analyses of Broiler Carcasses with Cachexia
ABSTRACT Broiler carcasses presenting cachexia, as determined by the federal inspection agency, were submitted to microbiological, physicochemical, and histological analyses. Over a 2-month period, 278 carcasses from straight-run flocks of 43- to 48-d-old Cobb broilers from two different farms were condemned due to cachexia and subjected to gross examination in the final inspection sector. Out of the 278 carcasses, 131 did not present any gross signs of infection, and were submitted to microbiological analyses (n=83), physicochemical analyses (n=28), and viscera and muscle samples of 20 carcasses were evaluated by histology. The microbiological results of cachectic carcasses complied with the current legislation on the consumption of fresh poultry meat. Lower lipid and higher protein, moisture, and volatile matter contents, and higher pH (p<0.05) were determined in the cachectic than in the control carcasses from a same flock, but no ash content differences. All carcasses were negative for hydrogen sulfide. The histological analysis showed that65% of the cachectic carcasses did not have any muscle injury, 20% showed mild hyalinization and 15% moderate proliferation of fibrous connective tissue. The findings of this study indicate the importance of further technical and scientific studies on the utilization of cachectic broiler carcasses for the manufacture of edible products, rather than whole carcasses rendering, thereby preventing the resulting economic losses.