Brazilians prefer super chicken to turkey
Chickens reared through genetic selection programmes
have proven popular as an alternative to turkey for holiday celebrations this
year in Brazil.
Biologists at Brazil's second-largest food processor, Perdigao
have created â€œChesterâ€, a chicken that costs less than a turkey and has more
meat than a standard chicken.
Chester won two thirds of Brazil's poultry sales in the lead-up to, and
during, the holiday season.
Consumers favour the bird because it's a less expensive alternative to
turkey, which costs one third more per kilogram, and â€œChesterâ€ also has tender
meat and a great flavour, they say.
Arout 90 percent of Chester sales occur during the Christmas season, and
sales are on a record pace this year, up 5 percent from 5 million in 2005,
according to Ricardo Menezes, Perdigao's institutional relations director.
In 1979, Perdigao biologists went to the US in search of chickens with
â€œsuperior genetic materialâ€, said Ideraldo Luiz Lima, a biologist and the
manager of Perdigao's agriculture department.
â€œWe never use hormones in the birds,â€ he said. â€œWhat we did over many years
was to pick the best birds for reproduction, feeding them natural grains, which
gives the meat unrivaled tenderness.â€
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