Pre-cooling in water tanks (pre-chiller and chiller) is an important step in preserving the quality of chicken meat. After pre-cooling, the carcasses are hung by the wing and neck for 5 min to allow excess water to drain. The weight of the carcasses is monitored before and after pre-cooling to ensure that weight gain due to water absorption does not exceed 8%. However, no information is available as to how hanging the carcass from other anatomical points might affect water retention of carcasses and water loss during dripping. The present study evaluated the effects of the anatomical point of hanging and hanging time on water retention of carcasses and water loss during dripping. One hundred and sixteen carcasses (mean weight 1,662 ± 13 g) were chilled by cold-water immersion systems in 2 steps (pre-chilling and chilling). The results showed that after chilling, the carcasses needed at least 3 min of dripping time (p < 0.05) to maintain water absorption below 8% of the final weight, and that the point of hanging did not affect water absorption (p > 0.05). Data in this study clearly indicate that leg hanging is a practical alternative, and 5 min of dripping time is needed to maintain water absorption within the desired limit.
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