A comparative study of quality and safety of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) fillets during cold storage, as affected by different thawing methods of pre-rigor frozen headed and gutted fish
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 2018, 98 (1), 400-409. 10.1002/jsfa.8649
BACKGROUND The catch of marine whitefish is typically seasonal, whereas the land‐based processing industry has a need for all‐year stable supply of raw materials. This challenge can be met by applying fish frozen at sea. When using frozen fish, the methods employed for thawing may influence the safety and quality of the final product. This study aimed to investigate the applicability of novel thawing strategies in order to provide an all‐year supply of high‐quality and safe cod products. RESULTS Comparative investigations of quality and safety factors after thawing in water, with and without air circulation, and contact thawing were performed. The parameters included water‐holding capacity, thawing loss, drip loss, cooking yield, sensory evaluation and microbiological analyses (including total volatile bases nitrogen). Water thawing with air circulation provided faster thawing than water thawing without air circulation and contact thawing. For all three methods, the quality of the thawed fish was acceptable and the shelf life of the fillets during chilled storage was between 10 and 14 days post‐filleting. CONCLUSION The results show that controlled freezing of cod, followed by appropriate thawing, may provide the processing industry with an all‐year delivery of raw materials, without compromising quality and safety of the final product.