Being able to thaw frozen meat in a reasonable time without impairing quality is crucial for industry and households. Radio frequency (RF) techniques have been used to defrost frozen foods. The influences of RF (50 kW, 27.12 MHz) tempering combined with water immersion (WI, 20°C) thawing (RFWI) or air convection (AC, 20°C) thawing (RFAC) on the physicochemical and structural changes of chicken breast meat were investigated, and the results were compared with those of the fresh meat (FM) and the meat samples subjected to WI and AC only. The thawing processes were terminated when the core temperatures of the samples reached 4°C. The results indicated that AC was the most time-consuming technique, whereas RFWI required the least amount of time. The moisture losses, contents of the thiobarbituric acid-reactive substance, total volatile basic nitrogen, and total viable counts of the meat subjected to AC were higher. Relatively less changes in water-holding capacity, coloration, oxidation, microstructure, protein solubility, and high sensorial acceptance were observed for RFWI and RFAC. This study demonstrated that the meat thawed using RFWI and RFAC was of satisfactory quality. Therefore, the RF techniques can be effective alternatives to the time-consuming conventional thawing methods and benefit the meat industry.

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