Pale poultry muscle syndrome
Muscle that exhibits a pale color, soft texture, and exudative nature (PSE) was first described by the swine industry. Some turkey breast muscle has been found to be lighter or paler than what is considered normal. A comparable phenomenon has also been observed in broiler chicken breast muscle. Similar to PSE pork, pale poultry muscles may have reduced water-holding capacity and higher drip loss than normal muscles. However, the lighter color poultry may also have normal water-holding and drip
... oss. Based on these findings, researchers have adopted the PSE term to describe pale avian muscle. The scientific literature describes porcine PSE as a much more severe meat quality defect than the poultry version. The genetic basis for the PSE syndrome between turkey and pork muscle also appears to differ. Finally, the halothane screen-ing method used to detect PSE-susceptible live swine does not work when used to screen suspect turkeys or chickens. Most of the PSE-like avian muscle is usually chosen by researchers based on the color of the muscle. However, many factors affect muscle color and the literature shows substantial differences in research relative to the definition of pale and normal avian muscles. Therefore, we propose using other terminology than PSE when describing avian breast muscle that exhibits some degree of paleness, reduced water-holding capacity, and increased drip loss. Two recommendations are: pale chicken muscle or pale poultry muscle syndrome. Continued use of PSE to describe pale poultry meat may be misleading because the conditions in swine and avian resulting in the defect are not the same.