Animal Science Department


Date of this Version



Redfield, A.L. (2014). Effects of conventional and alternative curing methods on processed turkey quality traits. (Master's Thesis). Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Animal Science, Under the Supervision of Professor Gary A. Sullivan. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2014

Copyright (c) 2014 Amy Lynn Redfield


This study compared physicochemical and sensory qualities of deli-style turkey breast produced pre-converted celery juice powder (CP; for alternative curing) or sodium nitrite (SN; for conventional curing). Formulas were designed to include 0, 50, 100, 150, and 200 ppm ingoing sodium nitrite or the equivalent from CP or SN, and 3 replicates of products were manufactured. Turkey and curing brines were tumbled, stuffed, and cooked to an internal temperature of 73.9oC. Products were stabilized and sliced into 12 mm slices (physicochemical trait analysis) and 2 mm slices (sensory trait analysis). Physicochemical traits measured only on d 0 were cured meat pigment (CMP), total meat pigment (TMP), salt concentration, and water activity (factorial design: 2 nitrite sources x 5 nitrite concentrations) and traits measured on d 0, 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, and 42 were color, pH, and residual nitrite (repeated measures factorial design: 2 nitrite sources x 5 nitrite concentrations x 7 time points). Untrained sensory panelists analyzed cured meat color, color acceptability, cured meat flavor, turkey flavor, off-flavor, flavor acceptability, and overall product acceptability for the 50, 100, 150, and 200 SN and CP products.

Products made with 0 ppm nitrite had lower (P ≤ 0.05) a* values and cured meat pigment concentrations than products containing nitrite. The interaction of nitrite concentration and source affected (P ≤ 0.05) b* values, pH, and residual nitrite. Products made with SN and CP had similar (P > 0.05) residual nitrite concentrations for every ingoing nitrite concentration except 200 ppm (200 SN product had more (P ≤ 0.05) residual nitrite). Residual nitrite was also affected (P = 0.022) by the nitrite concentration*day interaction: less ingoing nitrite and more storage time led to less residual nitrite in products. Between d 0 and 42, the decrease in pH was significant (P ≤ 0.05) but minimal. Untrained sensory panels suggested an overall disliking for 150 or 200 ppm nitrite from CP. Overall, conventionally and alternatively curing were similarly effective for several cured meat traits, but ingoing nitrite from celery juice powder appeared to be limited to 100 ppm (0.46% addition) for acceptable deli-style turkey breast production.

Advisor: Gary A. Sullivan