Visual flakiness

Flakiness A

Fish oil flavor &

Salmon-like A

Shellfish nnntina


\Fresh a a«aminess l™cKere — ■ A A .Weakfish Bluefish A Sourness fish

Mouth drying A ^ A A Saltiness aarthiness-

Atlantic cod Mouth filling (scrod) • Pollock • »Tilefish

Striped bass


A AHardness

Atlantic cod (market)

• Cusk flavor profile relationships, it became obvious that it was necessary to further simplify the cluster diagram in order to provide a far less complicated basis for describing general flavor characteristics, particularly for marketing purposes.

A less-complex cluster diagram or tree could be achieved by analyzing the same group offish but using only four of the most significant sensory terms from Table 5 (total flavor intensity, sweetness, salty, and sourness). Results of that analysis are shown in Figure 5. Using only these four flavor attributes, the cluster analysis yielded three distinct major groups of fish. Each group, in turn, was composed of a series of subgroups offish with increasing similarities in sensory attributes. Associations of species are different from those in Figure 4 in that only four attributes were used. We will discuss the three groups that appear in Figure 5 to give a feel for what cluster analysis can yield in its application to flavor profiling. In the discussion of each of these three groups, we will make use of the other flavor attributes, not used in the cluster analysis, as an aid in describing each group.

In Figure 5, the overall flavor profile offish represented in group 1 was generally characterized by a moderate to moderately low total flavor intensity (TFI); that is, early impact of combined flavors, with a predominant sweet and salty-briny flavor. The intensity of a persistent, but very low, sour flavor was also observed in group 1 fish. Other flavor notes encountered in group 1 fish were gamey (as in fresh-cooked venison and opposed to beef); earthy, fish oil, and mouth drying (astringency), particularly in widow rockfish (Sebastes entórnales). The first three flavor attributes were considered low to very low, but the sensation of mouth drying was more pronounced. Chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha), on the other hand, has a very low earthy flavor note but was characterized by the ever-present fish oil flavor associated with the more oily species. Mouth drying in chinook salmon had a moderately low impact.

Pen-raised (in salt water) Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) tended to have slightly more exaggerated minor flavor notes as compared to the king salmon and a more pronounced earthy flavor. The flavor notes fish oil and earthy were also more pronounced (low intensity) in the Atlantic salmon than in the chinook salmon. The effect of mouth drying at the point of swallowing was moderately low. A low-intensity shellfish (lobster, clam), earthy, and fish oil flavor note characterized longspine porgy (Stenotomus ca-prinus), a species with a moderate TFI. However, the mouth drying flavor attribute was found to be very low in this species. The most predominant flavor characteristic of king mackerel (Scomberomus cavalla) was a moderately low gamey note followed by a low-intensity earthy flavor and mouth-drying sensation. Although mackerel was considered to be a somewhat flavorful species, in this grouping it falls in the moderate group, due in part to the presence of the tunas and sharks with their high sour notes.

Although defined by a moderate TFI, the flavor profile of spot (Leiostomus xanthurus) was most influenced by a slightly low salty flavor, a low gamey note, and a sweet afterflavor. Mouth drying was very minimal in spot. Residual aftertaste of earthy and fish oil were very low intensity. Monkfish (L. americanus), or goosefish, had a moderately low overall TFI with a slight salty, sweet flavor and near threshold sour note. The most notable sensory characteristic of this fish was its moderate shellfish flavor note, which is responsible for the fish being referred to as "poor man's lobster." The fish has a persistent shellfish aftertaste while mouth drying is low.

Unlike group 1 fish, which have a higher overall TFI, fish in group 2 are generally characterized by a low TFI and are typically described as mild in flavor. These fish have moderately low to low salty-briny and/or sweet flavor notes, and sourness was generally noticeable as a very low to just barely detectable flavor note. A typical species in


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