Animal Microbiomes

chicken in lab

Reducing food and energy waste in poultry

The Metcalf lab and several faculty in Animal Sciences at CSU are working with UC Davis and Foster Farms to investigate the differences between air vs water chilling of chickens with the goal of improving shelf-life and shelf-life prediction, meat quality, and energy usage. Approximately 250 chickens were cooled either via water chilling or by air chilling and fabricated into either bone-in or boneless breasts for dark storage and display. Chicken breasts were sampled at several time points throughout the process. This project includes a truly interdisciplinary approach to assessing the two cooling methods. We are characterizing the microbial ecology, sensory attributes, and nutritive value of each chicken, as well as energy and water budgets of each cooling method. This holistic assessment will provide industry with a comprehensive view of the value of these two processing approaches. This research is funded by the Innovation Institute for Food and Health.