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Processed Chicken

An Introduction
As consumers' lives become more hectic and time poor, they are searching for services that save them time and offer high levels of convenience. Processed food is an ideal solution for providing quick meals. In response to this development, the supply of processed-food categories is expanding, both in terms of the number of companies and as well products. However, the health factor will impact on the future demand for processed foods, with sectors such as sandwiches, chicken and pizza likely to be the fastest-growing areas of the market.

Chicken
If there is one word that could describe chicken, it would be versatility. Roasted, broiled, grilled or poached, and combined with a wide range of herbs and spices, chicken makes a delicious, flavorful and nutritious meal. No wonder chicken is the world's primary source of animal protein and a healthy alternative to red meat. It is available to enjoy throughout the year.

 

History
The practice of raising chickens for food is ancient, with the first domestication of poultry thought to have occurred in southern Asia over 4,000 years ago. Initially, chickens were raised by individual families for their own consumption, as the Neolithic villages expanded and population size increased, surplus chickens were sold or bartered for groceries.

With the introduction of modern refrigeration methods and with the development of faster transportation systems in the late 19th century there was a further increase in poultry production. However, it was not until after World War II that scientific developments in poultry industry, made commercial production of chickens viable.

 
Definition of Processed Chicken

At the present, there does not exist a clear-cut definition of what "processed chicken" is, and major players in the poultry industry apply the term to refer to different products. Despite differing terminological interpretations we have identified ready-to-cook chicken meat as well as frozen chicken under processed chicken category. The ready-to-cook chicken meat would generally comprise of added value products like Nuggets, Chicken Burgers, Grills and Steaks, Coated Fillets, etc.

Reasons Behind the Popularity of Processed Chicken
The growing popularity of chicken products can be attributed to the following reasons:-
  • Consumers prefer healthier options and consequently choose white meat over red
  • Increase of menu options, which demonstrate the versatility of chicken
  • Launch of innovative new products
  • A greater selection of serving alternatives and the growth in sandwich type menus.

 

Health Benefits of Chicken
Protein is an essential dietary requirement of human beings. We derive our amino acids from animal and plant sources of protein, then rearrange the nitrogen to make the pattern of amino acids we require. Chicken is a very good source of protein. It can provide for almost 68% of the daily need for protein in 4 ounces.

People who are non-vegiterians, but are looking for ways to reduce the amount of fat in their meals, should try eating more chicken. The leanest part of the chicken is the chicken breast.

Chicken is also a good source of the cancer-protective B vitamin, niacin. Components of DNA require niacin, and a deficiency of niacin has been directly linked to genetic damage. A four-ounce serving of chicken provides 72.0% of the daily value for niacin.

 

Chicken is also a good source of the trace mineral, selenium. Selenium is of fundamental importance to human health. It is an essential component of several major metabolic pathways, including thyroid hormone metabolism, antioxidant defense systems, and immune function.

Market Potential
Chicken is sold in three forms: Live chicken, frozen chicken and processed chicken. Till date the local market selling live chicken has the lion’s share of the country’s wallet. While frozen chicken has proved to be an important foreign exchange earner for the country. Factories, processing plants, feed mills and slaughterhouses have developed their operations to the required international standards, and frozen chicken has been exported to countless foreign markets, all over the world.

However, it has been difficult for the companies dealing in Processed Chicken. But the processed chicken market is poised for a big leap. The bird flu epidemic in South East Asian nations could be a blessing in disguise for the Indian poultry industry with demands surging from overseas buyers for processed chicken from India. With processed chicken prices rising in the global market from about $1,200 per tonne to $1,450 per tonne in the wake of the bird flu, this is the opportune moment to venture into processed chicken segment.

In the domestic front, quality broiler chickens are processed and packed in a scientific hand-free process, instantly chilled at 2 degrees Celsius and supplied to the customer the same day. The instant chilling procedures effectively retains the freshness of the chicken and keeps intact its natural vitamins.

Processing of Chicken
Chickens are taken directly from the poultry farms to the processing plant where they are unloaded from their transport crates or modules, slaughtered, plucked, cleaned, cooled and graded. They are then either packaged and frozen or chilled, or processed further into various products prior to packaging and sale to distributors. Processing plants are very large, highly mechanized operations. All processing operations have a systematic preventative approaches to manage food safety risks, with approved and regularly audited Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) programs in place.

Processed Chicken Types

  • Individually-Quick-Frozen Segments (IQ*F)
  • Ready-to-Cook and Fully Cooked Fried Chicken
  • Fully Cooked Breaded and Glazed Wings
  • Cooked and Ready-to-Cook Breaded and Unbreaded Tenderloins,
  • Breaded and Unbreaded Patties and Chunks (cooked and ready-to-cook)
  • Oven Roasted Chicken
  • Flavor Marinated Breasts
  • Fully Cooked, Diced, Pulled and Shredded Chicken Products,
  • Breaded Breast and Thigh .
 
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