Info

Cold storage

Fish meal Fish paste Plant p|ant

Fish meal hold

Cold storage

Fish meal Fish paste Plant p|ant

Fish meal hold

Freezing preparation room Quick freezing room

The process in making fish paste

Forming onto paste and freezing

Removal of pollock heads, internal organs, skin and bones

Adding sugar and other ingredients and kneading

Rinsing and then draining off water

Removal of pollock heads, internal organs, skin and bones

Adding sugar and other ingredients and kneading

Rinsing and then draining off water

Figure 4. Surimi factory ship, the 21,000-ton Mineshima Maru. Source: Courtesy of Hippon Suisan Kaisha Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan.

ability, measured by the water-binding capacity of the comminuted tissue (protein solubilization) and gel strength, is determined by the level of functional actomyosin. The level of functional actomyosin, measured as extractable actomyosin or ATPase activity, increases with an increase in the number of washing cycles and decreases as the freshness of the fish decreases; such a decrease in extractable actomyosin is caused by tissue autolysis, which is proteolytic breakdown of myofibrillar protein by catheptic protease. The proteolytic breakdown increases with extended storage or during the spawning season. The quality of sur-imi during frozen storage is affected by storage temperature, storage period, the level of remaining moisture, the type and level of cryoprotectants used, and remaining inorganic salts (10,13).

The quality of surimi is graded on the basis of its gel-forming ability and the chemical and visual conditions of raw surimi. A new version of the Japanese grading system for frozen surimi was developed initially by Tokai Regional Fisheries Research Laboratory (1980) and adopted by various individual companies with some modifications for its internal standards. The modified standard procedures of Japan Fisheries Ltd. (14) and some of the procedures from the Tokai Regional Fisheries Laboratory are summarized in Table 1.

In the United States, on the other hand, methods for specifying properties of raw surimi instead of a grading system were proposed by the U.S. surimi technical committee under the direction of the National Fisheries Institute (15). Additional testing procedures for surimi (16) and fiberized analog products (17) were also proposed. They were intended not only to supplement the existing Japanese grading system but also to make procedures more practical for the United States, where the system is intended for specification rather than grading. In this way, a suitable type of surimi, which meets the gel-forming requirements of specific formulations, can be selected.

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