Quality of salmon and halibut

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1: Effects of freezing and thawing on end-product quality, 2: The principal factors affecting consumer appreciation of smoked salmon, and 3: Understanding the relationship between cooking quality as perceived by professional chefs and technical and sensory panel measures in halibut. A fourth sub-project was included during the second year of the project, aimed at areas that had been identified as important for future work. Results 1. Assess changes in important quality parameters during freezing, thawing and frozen storage of Atlantic salmon. Three tests related to freshness of raw material and effects of freezing have been made: 1. Freezing and freshness: Sensory panel and technical quality. 2. Freezing and freshness: Consumer test. 3. Frozen and refrozen storage. Test 1: Fish killed the same day were firmer and more chewy (whether measured by taste or machine). Between samples either stored on ice for 6 days or frozen prerigor for 0-6 days and then carefully thawed, no differences could be discerned either in terms of taste, chemical changes or rancidity. Test 2: A consumer panel drawn from the general public singled out fish killed the same day as being of poor quality with a different flavour while the other fish (see test 1) could not be separated. Test 3: When fish were frozen whole, then thawed, filleted and refrozen we conclude that both temperature and storage time affect product quality while the effects on the taste of cooked fish were negligible. 2. Documentation of quality variation in smoked salmon at the retailer as a factor of country of origin, smoke house and season. Throughout a whole year quality variations in cold-smoked sliced salmon were monitored in a French hypermarket. Factors recorded were country of origin, smoke house and season. Factors analysed were chemical composition, safety and quality variables, and consumer preference. We found that although consumers were able to detect differences in the taste of the products there were no significant differences in preference due to country of origin. Taste was the quality attribute that most frequently determined preferences.

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