Histological properties of intramuscular connective tissues in native chickens and their relationship with meat tenderness
The most common connective tissue research in meat science has been conducted on the properties of intramuscular connective tissue of meat. The purpose of this study was to investigate histological properties of intramuscular connective tissues of left and right Quadriceps femoris muscle and Pectoralis superficialis muscles in the native chickens and the influence of sex on these properties. A total of 40 adult healthy native chickens (56 days) of both sexes (20 female and 20 male) were used. After fixation in 10% buffered formalin sections were prepared, using routine histological techniques. Tissue samples were stained with hematoxylin and eosin and a variety of special techniques for the determination of types of connective tissue fibers. The conventional histological study revealed that except the endomysium which was similar in both muscles, the other intramuscular connective tissues’ layers varied between leg and breast muscles and were affected by sex. All the connective tissue fibers were observed in all the intramuscular connective tissues of both leg and breast meats. Tenderness in the leg muscle was higher than the breast muscle in native chickens, as well as in males than females. Elastic fibers showed no histological difference, not only among intramuscular connective tissues in both leg and breast muscles’ meats but also between males and females.
Keywords: Histology, intramuscular connective tissues, meat, native chicken, tenderness.