Turkey Burger


3/4 cup uncooked oats
1 lb ground turkey breast
1 cup plain non-fat yogurt, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove large garlic, minced
1 cup shredded cabbage
1/4 cup shredded carrot
2 tbsp minced parsley
1 tsp grainy, Dijon-style mustard
4 whole-wheat sandwich rolls
1 cup packed spinach leaves
4 tomato slices


  1. In a large bowl, combine turkey, oats, 1/2 cup yogurt, onion, garlic and pepper. Mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape mixture into four 1/2-inch thick patties.
  2. Place patties on rack of broiler pan about four inches from heat. Broil 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until instant-read thermometer registers 170ºF (75ºC).
  3. In a medium bowl, combine cabbage, carrots, parsley, remaining 1/2 cup yogurt and mustard. Mix well. Cover and chill.
  4. To serve, place spinach and tomato slice on roll bottom. Top with burger, cabbage mixture and roll top.

Makes 4 burgers.

Source: Healthy Eating with Oats

Bigger Chickens Bring a Tough New Problem: ‘Woody Breast’

Kelsey Gee wrote . . . . .

Muscle condition in fast-growing broilers poses no human-health risk but can make meat feel ‘gummy,’ harder to chew

In its quest to grow ever-bigger chickens to meet growing demand for white meat, the food industry has hit an unexpected problem.

The trouble isn’t raising large-enough birds. A growing share of broiler chickens—bred for meat, not to lay eggs—now can yield a pair of breast fillets that are heavier than an entire bird was a few decades ago. A rising number of those fillets are laced with hard fibers in a condition the industry calls woody breast. It poses no threat to human health, but it degrades the texture of the meat.

“It is more hard, and also more elastic, so you have to put more energy in to chew on this kind of meat,” said Massimiliano Petracci, a food scientist at Italy’s University of Bologna, who added the condition has emerged in the U.S., Spain, the U.K., Brazil and elsewhere.

He said roughly 5% to 10% of the boneless breast fillets sold world-wide are affected, and the meat is also “gummy.”

Enlarge image . . . . .

The effects of woody breast can be so subtle as to go unnoticed by home cooks. Its cause isn’t known, but Dr. Petracci and other researchers say several decades of breeding in favor of heavier, faster-growing birds could be a factor.

“It’s not the final weight so much as it is how fast the bird gets there,” said Sacit F. Bilgili, a professor emeritus of poultry science at Auburn University who has studied such muscle abnormalities for more than five years.

For poultry processors like Sanderson Farms Inc., Perdue Farms Inc. and Wayne Farms LLC, woody breast is one of several muscle disorders that have emerged in recent years, and comes amid growing pressure from consumers for higher living standards for animals and less reliance on antibiotics.

Industry analysts say woody breast eventually could cut into producers’ revenues if breast meat has to be sold at a steep discount or customers demand that the companies raise smaller birds.

Brett Hundley, analyst for BB&T Capital Markets in Richmond, Va., said that while it is more profitable now to sell a larger bird that yields more meat, there may be “diminishing returns” going forward.

“Is it worth it to produce more pounds and lose business because your customer doesn’t want to take your woody breast meat anymore?” asked Mr. Hundley, adding that he doesn’t think the effect on companies’ bottom lines is yet consequential enough to try to quantify.

Sanderson Farms Chief Financial Officer Mike Cockrell said the company found out about the issue through complaints from restaurant and retail customers about a year ago. He said the Laurel, Miss.-based company now has employees in processing plants feel every piece of boneless, skinless breast for the presence of woody breast, though the cost of dealing with the problem is immaterial.

“It feels like my thigh when I get a cramp playing tennis, there’s a knot in the meat,” said Mr. Cockrell. “I think we probably all have eaten chicken that has woody breast at one time or another.”

If found, affected meat is pulled from the line, sold at a discount and then further processed or ground for products like chicken sausage, Mr. Cockrell said. Woody breast now is found in less than 5% of the supply of boneless breast meat at its plants, he added.

“We are managing this issue alongside every company that produces larger birds,” said Alan Sterling, a spokesman for Wayne Farms, based in Oakwood, Ga. “The issue is sporadic, the specific cause is unknown, and it impacts a very small percentage of birds.”

Woody breast is similar to other disorders the industry has struggled to contain, including “white striping,” which appears in pale parallel lines of fat across fillets. Green muscle disease, which causes discoloration due to hemorrhages in the muscle, is also showing up in turkey and chicken breasts more often.

Affected breast fillets don’t pose a risk to people, but aren’t sold, researchers said.

Poultry processors world-wide primarily use lines of birds from just three breeding firms—Aviagen Inc., Cobb-Vantress Inc. and Hubbard, a unit of France’s Groupe Grimaud—that emphasize similar traits, like high breast-meat yield.

Derek Emmerson, vice president of research and development at Huntsville, Ala.-based Aviagen said the company was aware of concerns about woody breast and is working to “develop solutions to the problem.”

A spokesman for Cobb-Vantress, owned by Tyson Foods Inc., didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Sean Holcombe, director of sales for Hubbard’s U.S. and Canada business, said the company recognizes there may be a genetic component to woody breast, and is working to select against the condition.

Tyson Foods said it “didn’t have issues with so-called ‘woody breast’” in its live chicken operations.

A spokesman for Perdue said it was one of a number of quality issues the company looks for.

Over the past 50 years, average chicken weights in the U.S. have roughly doubled, while the time it takes for birds for pack on the pounds has been cut in half. In 1965, a 3.5 pound bird took 63 days to get to market. In 2015, average birds weighed 6.2 pounds in 48 days, according to Agri Stats Inc. and the National Chicken Council industry group. Many companies are now growing chickens to 10 pounds or larger.

The stiff muscle condition tends to get more severe in the flocks of older, heavier chickens, and the problem is difficult to detect in live animals, showing up only after birds have been killed, portioned and deboned, researchers and companies say. It isn’t clear whether birds are running into the biological limits of their fast-growing genes, or if issues with nutrition or how they are raised are behind the conditions, scientists say.

“We all know there are different ways to get birds from ‘Point A’ to ‘Point B’ and right now we’re talking about how to do that,” said Auburn’s Dr. Bilgili, who oversees research on growing birds at different rates. “It’s an economically important trait so no one wants to give up on meat yield, but we also want to control these problems.”

Source: The Wall Street Journal

The World’s Most Expensive Kebab

The £925 (about US$1350) Kebab by a Restaurant in London, UK

The kebab is made from the finest Japanese Wagyu beef, fresh morel mushrooms and 25-year-old Italian vinegar.

Other ingredients used in his dish include milk-fed lamb and goat minced into a traditional kofta.

French Chaumes cheese is also used with courgette flowers, Turkish basil, Jerusalem artichokes and La Vallee des Baux olive oil.

Source: Daily Mail

Watch video at Belfast Telegraph (1:15 minutes) . . . . .

Paper-based Test Could Help Prevent Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is a stomach-churning, miserable condition that sends thousands of Americans to hospital emergency rooms every year. Now scientists report in ACS’ journal Analytical Chemistry a simple, paper-based test that could help detect pathogens hitchhiking on food before they reach store shelves, restaurants and, most importantly, our stomachs.

According to one estimate by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the foodborne bacteria Salmonella alone led to nearly 20,000 hospitalizations and almost 400 deaths in 2013. Economists estimate that the treatment of all these patients and the related productivity losses cost more than $3 billion annually. And those numbers account for just one of the 15 pathogens responsible for most of the food poisoning cases. Current testing for pathogens in food requires complicated machinery and trained personnel. But these tests don’t provide the simple results needed in large-scale food manufacturing. So Je-Kyun Park and colleagues set out to find a more practical way to detect foodborne pathogens.

The researchers developed a paper-based test that can handle the multistep reactions necessary for this kind of analysis by controlling the pore size of the paper. When dipped into solutions containing the E. coli strain O157:H7, Salmonella typhimurium or both, lines appeared on the dipstick indicating a positive result within 15 minutes. Because the method requires dipping the device into a solution once and produces an easy-to-read result, it could be performed by workers without special training, the researchers say.

Source: American Chemical Society

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