Demystifying Chicken Labels

07 Dec 2021 05:32 PM Comment(s) By Aqgromalin Team

Food labels can be quite confusing. When it comes to meat there are many layers of complicated information that one will need to navigate to understand what exactly they are purchasing.

When it comes to chicken, the sheer variety of cuts and products can make even a seasoned consumer baffled. In fact, a survey in India has shown that 35% of chicken buyers are confused with the current chicken labels and packaging used.

In this article, we try to clarify and analyses the most puzzling labels which are used to sell chicken and how they are often misunderstood or convey wrong messages.


Hormone and steroid-free

This label indicates that some chicken products may contain hormones and steroids. However, the fact is that no hormones or steroids are anyway given to chickens before they are sold in retail shops. Moreover, this is not entirely legal so all chicken is hormone and steroid-free to being with.


This is one of the most confusing and misleading food labels found on chicken products. The truth is that nowadays no chickens are reared in cages. Most chickens are free to walk and roam around in big, open spaces. Therefore, branding them as cage-free chickens does not make much sense.


Free Range

This word is used to convey that the chickens are allowed to roam around an enclosed area sometimes during the day. In reality, most chickens stay close to drinking water and food troughs. These are mostly kept inside a common space, to keep the feed and water bacteria-free and away from animals, rats or insects which may be attracted to the food. So this term or label is purely used as a selling tactic for the brand of chicken and does not conform to reality.


Organically processed

Organic is another misused term as the label does not actually convey or give any evidence the safety, quality or nutritional aspects of organic chicken meat vs. chicken which are reared normally.

Actually, in the processing plant, most of the processes followed are the same for both the type of chickens whether bred organically or normally.  


No antibiotics

This label also do not convey the whole picture and is misleading. Chickens do fall ill like people do, and some chickens on a no antibiotic program may fall ill and have to be administered antibiotics.

Even otherwise, all chicken sold or bought is technically “antibiotic free” as the law states that all antibiotics used while rearing chickens have to be removed before they are sold outside. So, labelling “no antibiotics” is only a part of branding campaigns to help it sell better than other brands and does not tell the whole truth.

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