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White Striping In Chicken Meat

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A raw chicken breast with white striping

Resources

This is a resource for science and food technology teachers. White striping is a muscle disorder, common in intensively produced chicken. It is caused by selectively breeding chickens to grow fast.

Additional Activities

The resources are designed to maximise student engagement and discussion. The worksheet and interactive PowerPoint presentation introduce the subject with pictures of chicken breasts, from a range of different systems including intensive, free range and organic, to help students in identification.

White striping occurs when a fast-growing muscle fibre exceeds its blood supply. It runs out of oxygen, degenerates or dies, and leaves a fine white stripe of fat and connective tissue. Large numbers of these can be visible in a single chicken breast fillet.

Our students’ discussion booklet contains more detailed information and questions.

The proposed supermarket survey will not be suitable during the present coronavirus restrictions, but you can try an online survey – perhaps surprisingly, pictures of chicken breasts used to promote online shopping commonly contain white striping!

Further Learning Films

There is also a short campaign film illustrating the responses of US consumers to being confronted with the issue of white striping and two longer films which can be used to stimulate discussion of intensive vs higher welfare systems of animal farming.

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