Sensory Evaluation of Alternative Turkey Genotypes

Project Overview

Project Type: On-Farm Research
Funds awarded in 2007: $14,962.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2009
Grant Recipient: Appalachian State University
Region: Southern
State: Arkansas
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Anne Fanatico
Appalachian State University

Annual Reports

Information Products


  • Animals: poultry


  • Animal Production: free-range, housing, livestock breeding
  • Crop Production: food product quality/safety
  • Education and Training: on-farm/ranch research
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development
  • Sustainable Communities: local and regional food systems, new business opportunities

    Proposal abstract:

    Interest is growing in specialty poultry markets, including natural and organic, which may feature alternative genotypes and production systems. Alternative turkey genotypes include “heritage breeds” which are slow-growing birds that mate naturally, and alternative production systems include outdoor access and natural feeds. Consumers buy specialty products for reasons such as nutrient/sensory attributes and animal welfare. Producer Frank Reese in Kansas raises Bronze turkeys in small barns and the birds have access to fields that are used in rotation. Researchers at the University of Arkansas will conduct meat quality and sensory analyses on these slow-growing turkeys as well as fast-growing turkeys that were placed 8 weeks later. Nutrient content will be analyzed of the breast meat, as well as tenderness, pH, water-holding capacity, and color. A trained panel will conduct descriptive analyses of texture attributes of the breast meat and flavor attributes of the breast and thigh meat, and a consumer panel will compare liking of these specialty turkeys to conventional turkeys at retail. Community outreach will be conducted.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Determine impact of genotype and production system on meat quality and sensory attributes of turkeys in specialty production

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.