Britain’s Frozen Chicken Is Pumped Up With Water and Chemicals

It'll tumble for ya.
It'll tumble for ya. Photo: iStockphoto

The Guardian reports that up to one fifth of the weight of frozen chicken breasts sold throughout the U.K. at supermarket chains is actually just water and other additives brought in to bulk up the meat in a process known as “chicken tumbling.” Suppliers are importing meat from Brazil that’s already treated with salt and corn oil in some cases, then are “’tumbling’ it with water and water-binding additives,” using a machine that is basically a glorified concrete mixer. The result is frozen chicken that weighs in at between 15 and 18 percent in added water, and it’s perfectly legal meat at that: The paper reports that so long as it’s labeled as a “preparation” or “product,” tumbled chicken passes regulatory muster. Proud chicken tumblers defend the practice, which can be used to turn 100 kilos of meat into 165 kilos in no time at all, by arguing it makes the meat “more succulent.” [Guardian via Daily Mail UK]