Battering and Breading
THE consumption of battered and breaded poultry products, sold at retail and food service operations, has increased tremendously during the past three decades. In 1996, it was estimated that 1.2 billion pounds of food products were breaded in the United States (Figure 10.1), with poultry leading, followed by seafood and vegetables (e.g., onion rings). Breaded products represent a convenient food item that is tasty and can be prepared to fit most consumers’ needs. One of the best success stories is the chicken nugget product that was introduced to the North American market by the fast-food chains in the 1970s. Originally, the product was made from a whole breast muscle strip that was battered and breaded and then fried. Today, chicken nuggets are made from whole muscle breast meat, ground breast meat, chunks of dark meat, ground dark meat with and without the inclusion of mechanically deboned meat and skin. The traditional oval shape of the nugget has also been modified in some markets (e.g., dinosaur-shaped nugget is a common shape used to attract young children). The breading and spices used also vary, depending on the market. A discussion concerning the different types of coating, breading and processing procedures used in the manufacturing of poultry products will be provided in this chapter.