Nya

Packaging

Figure 5. Flowchart of process for fibrous, flake, chunk, and composite-mold-type products. Source: Courtesy of the Institute of Food Technologists.

Surimi

Surimi

Colored paste

To packaging

Figure 6. Schematic of small-scale crab leg processing line (capacity 1 t/day). The color layer is transferred from the film to the meat surface during steam heating. Source: Courtesy of the Institute of Food Technologists.

Colored paste

To packaging

Figure 6. Schematic of small-scale crab leg processing line (capacity 1 t/day). The color layer is transferred from the film to the meat surface during steam heating. Source: Courtesy of the Institute of Food Technologists.

crab leg product, whereas wider strips are more suitable for the crab flakes and chunks as well as for scallop analogs.

The resulting sheet of strips is folded into a rope (a bundle of fibers) by a simple narrowing device called a rope former. The rope is then colored, wrapped, and cut into a desired length by a wrapping machine. Coloring is done by applying a thin layer of colored paste onto a wrapping film. The film of colored paste sticks onto the surface of the rope as wrapping and cooking progress. Coloring is also done by directly applying a thin colored extrudate onto the rope without wrapping film. The crab leg product is produced by a straight cut, whereas the flake and chunk types are formed by an oblique cut. During the folding process, the texture of the finished products can be further altered by manipulating the adhesion between the folded layers. Recently, a fiberization by the twin-screw extrusion was developed in Japan. In this process, protein salt-solubilization is followed by texturization of surimi pro tein, both done in an extruder. Although the texturization by extrusion is found to be efficient and less labor intensive, the process has not been universally accepted due to inferior texture and flavor retention compared to the conventional fiberization method.

Composite-Molded Products

For these products, the strings or shreds of desired length are mixed with surimi paste and extruded into a desired shape. Strings or shreds are produced either by the method just described or by shredding a block of surimi gel into thin rectangular pieces (<1 mm thick). Texture can be manipulated by adjusting the mixing ratio of strings and shreds and surimi paste (binder). This type of product gives a better bite than the strictly molded variety, which often tends to be rubbery and uniform in texture. Composite-molded products are found in stick form and sold mixed with fiberized products. Most typical products under this category that can be found in the market are shrimp and lobster analogs. Another type of composite-molded product called fish ham is prepared by mixing the dice of cured tuna and pork into the fish paste before extrusion.

Emulsified Products

To make this type of product, surimi is treated in a manner similar to that used when meat is processed for emulsion products. The level of fat added is usually less than 10%, and the type of fat used is not limited to animal fat. In fact, vegetable oil is often added, because unlike mammal and bird meat, fish meat readily produces a stable emulsion with oil (39). The wiener-type products have been developed and successfully marketed in Japan. Sausage-type products can be produced by a method similar to that used for composite-molded products, as illustrated in Figure 7.

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