Search This Blog

What is the difference between dark and white meat?


What is the difference between dark and white meat?

Most people have no idea there is dark meat and white meat in poultry. The only things they know are that dark meat has more fat and that they have favorite parts they like to eat.

The difference between white meat and dark meat is attributed to the amount of MYOGLOBIN proteins, the magic stuff that distributes oxygen to the muscle cells.

This protein is stored in muscles that get active, because they need more oxygen. The more active a muscle gets, the higher the concentration of the protein.

Dark meats basically have more MYOGLOBIN proteins than white meat. Dark meats have to use this protein as they distribute oxygen more powerfully to the muscles than glycogen. Muscles used more often, get to be dark. This is reveal why non-flying poultry drumsticks are dark meat, while their breast meat is white.

While a modern domesticated chicken is basically flightless, the wings get very little in activities, so the muscles develop very little MYOGLOBIN proteins. Where this really turns out to be obvious is in flying fowl like ducks; the meat is more of a reddish color all over, which is why ducks are basically all dark meat.

When dark meat is cooked it turns the MYOGLOBIN proteins to METMYOGLOBINS, which is colored brown or gray. METMYOGLOBINS are very high in iron, although there is not that much in dark meat in the first place.

White meat gets the 'juice' through GLYCOGEN. It is an animal starch. Animal starch is stored mainly in the liver and broken down into glucose when needed by the white muscle.

However, when cooking, wings should be treated like dark meat, not white meat. This is because white meat tends to be dried if cooked too long. Wings take well to long cooking times and high heat just like thighs. This is because there are multiple bones in the wings structure. Be careful when grilling or barbecuing, because wings are also one of the fattiest parts of the chicken and tend to create flare-ups on the grill.

In addition, the white meat of a chicken contains a lot less natural internal fat compared to the dark meat parts. The MYOGLOBIN protein is responsible for the color difference but it is the fat content that makes dark meat parts retain its moisture for a longer period of time before drying out.

As for nutritional comparison, dark meats contained more zinc, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, vitamins B6 and B12, amino acids, iron than white meat. Even the fats in most of the dark meats have healthy parts. They contain Omega-3, and Omega-6 fatty acids, and other 'healthy' fats. But the saturated fat content which lowers the right quality of dark meat.

Therefore, if anybody asks, this information can now be told to them. It is also why when people are put on diets that they are told to eat chicken breasts and not drumsticks.

No comments: