DRONGEN, Belgium – A production issue that had many broiler producers and poultry processors flummoxed in the past two years as a growing proportion of breast meat was lost to what became known as “woody breast.”
Researchers from the Royal Agrifirm Group’s Nuscience Group announced the launch of a feed-based solution to reduce the incidents of what it calls “wooden breast syndrome,” which is not a food safety threat, but has resulted in financial losses in the global poultry market.
Nuscience researchers narrowed down the cause of the myopathy to the increasingly high growth rates of birds and high meat yields. The company’s product, Q-prove, is recommended for use in high doses during early feeding of broilers and reducing its use as the birds grow.
According to the company: “Due to the fast muscle growth and the enlarged muscle cells, the space between muscle fibers is reduced. This restricts the blood supply to the muscles, which can no longer reach the desired oxygen levels. The resulting dead muscle cells harden the meat, causing the wooden breast.”
According to field trial results in Europe and South America, Q-prove can reduce the incidence of severe wooden breast, when it tends to peak in birds around 42 days old, from rates as high as 20 percent down to approximately 2.5 percent.
“This is a huge financial improvement for both the farmer as for the slaughterhouse,” according to the company.
The company plans to ship the product from its Drongen-based Nuscience manufacturing plant to high-volume markets, including the US, Brazil and Europe. More information is available from the company’s website: www.nusciencegroup.com.