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Atlantic herring — Goosefish — Sablefish — Pink salmon — Chinook salmon — Sockeye salmon — Coho salmon — Atlantic salmon — Red porgy — Gray triggerfish — Red snapper — Black sea bass -i Speckled hind -if Snowy grouper r Goosefish Tilefish Blueline tilefish Yellowedge grouper Scamp Channel catfish Alaska plaice

Gag-

Southern flounder — Summer flounder —■ Vermillion snapper —— Southern kingfish -—1

Grenadiers-

Silvergray rockfish •— Rock sole —— Walleye pollock —■

Widow rockfish Pacific Ocean perch Rex sole Weakfish Redbanded rockfish English sole Sand sole Flathead sole Shortspine thornyhead Dover sole Silver hake Atlantic cod White grunt Sheepshead Atlantic pollock Pacific cod Pacific halllbut Striped mullet Swordfish Ladyflsh American shad Hammerhead shark Bluefish Crevalle jack King mackerel Sharpnose shark Tiger shark Sandbar shark Lemon shark Spot

Longspine porgy Spanish mackerel' Great barracuda Dolphin Red drum Starry flounder' Chum salmon Spotted sea trout Atlantic croaker' Black rockfish' Yellowfin tuna Thresher shark

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Figure 4. Expanded cluster analysis diagram (tree) showing relationships (amalgamations) between 74 species and their individual flavor profiles.

this group is English sole (Parophrys vetulus girard), which has a low TFI characterized by a somewhat sweet-salty flavor. It also has a very light or threshold gamey-shellfish flavor and is sometimes known to possess a very low earthy note. A bitter or iodine aftertaste was the mouth-drying characteristic in these samples. Similarly, Dover sole (Microstomus pacificus) was also a very mild flavored fish with a low TFI with a characteristic slight salty-sweet flavor and a hint of sour and threshold levels of earthy-gamey flavors. The effect of mouth drying was also low and sometimes accompanied by a low iodine and/ or bitter aftertaste. Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), also characterized by a low TFI, often had a slight earthy flavor and mouth-drying note and was sometimes characterized by a low shellfish flavor note or a slight sour aftertaste. All of these attributes were found at low intensity levels when encountered. With a slightly stronger TFI (low) than the aforementioned fish, summer flounder (Paralichthys den-tatus) and southern flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma) were relatively mild-flavored fish characterized by a low salty-briny and sour flavor with a very low level of shellfish, sweet, or sometimes earthy flavor notes observed. A fish oil flavor note was sometimes detected in the dark flesh but at or near threshold levels. Mouth drying was observed but at a low intensity. Scamp grouper (Mytero-perca phenox) was also found to be a species with a low TFI, with a mild salty-sweet flavor and a very low sour note. Scamp was characterized by a slight shellfish flavor

Table 5. Sensory Terms for the Description of Fish Flavor

Total flavor intensity

The initial or early total impact of flavors

Salty-brine A combination of the taste sensations of sodium chloride and the other salt compounds found in ocean water.

Sour The taste sensation produced by acids.

The taste of vinegar or lemon are typical examples.

Shellfish The flavor associated with any cooked shellfish, such as lobster, clam, or scallop.

Gamey fish The flavor associated with the heavy, gamey characteristics of some cooked fish such as Atlantic mackerel, as opposed to a delicate flavor such as sole. Analogous to the relationship of the heavy, gamey characteristics of fresh cooked venison compared to fresh cooked beef, or duck to chicken.

Fish oil The flavor associated with fish oil, such as found in mackerel and canned sardines or cod liver oil.

Sweet The basic taste sensation of which the taste of sucrose is typical.

Earthy The flavor associated with slightly undercooked boiled potato, soil, or muddy fish.

Mouth drying The sensation of dry skin surfaces of the oral cavity; dry feeling in the mouth after swallowing; astringency.

Other flavor notes that may be encountered

Bitter The taste sensation of which the taste of a solution of caffeine, quinine, or iodine are typical examples.

Metallic The taste sensation suggesting the use of slightly oxidized metal, such as tin or iron.

Nutty-buttery The flavor associated with the rich, full flavor of chopped nuts, such as pecans and warm melted butter.

Canned salmon The flavor associated with the salmon character in canned salmon.

Old fish The flavor associated with cooked fish, with an off-note related to trimethylamine.

Stale fish The flavor associated with cooked fish that is getting "off," but is not yet old.

note and a very low earthy and fish oil aftertaste. Mouth drying was very low in intensity.

Two species of fish in group 2, black rockfish (Sebastes melanops) from the Pacific Ocean and spot (L. xanthurus) from the Atlantic Ocean, were noted for the mildly heightened TFI as compared to other fish species represented in group 2. Both species were considered to be low salty-sweet flavored with very low sour notes. These fish were also characterized for their slight gamey and earthy flavor notes. Black rockfish was also found to have a very slight fish oil flavor associated with its dark flesh. This species had a moderately low mouth-drying aftertaste whereas spot had a very low level of mouth drying.

As a family, fish in group 3 tended to have a much higher TFI profile than fish from the preceding groups. In this analysis, group 3 represents all of the shark species tested interspersed with several nonshark species, including tuna and herring. The least flavorful in this group were the starry flounder (Platichthys stellatus) and sandbar shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus). These two different species were characterized by a moderately low TFI and very low sweetness; however, this was accentuated by low salty and/or sour flavors that were more likely to be associated with sharks. Mouth drying or astringency was low but definitely present. Afterflavors of gamey, earthy, and fish oil were often present but were found at very low concentrations. Somewhat stronger-flavored scalloped hammerhead shark (Spherna lewini), ladyfish (Elops sarus), and lemon shark (Negaprion brevirostris) were characterized by a moderately low TFI that was somewhat influenced by a low salty-sour flavor. The effect of mouth drying was slight, and the gamey and earthy notes were predominate after-flavors but at low intensities. Perhaps the most flavorful species in group 3 were yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacores) and thresher shark (Alopias verlpinus). These moderately flavored fish had a relatively strong TFI that was characterized by a moderate to moderately strong initial sour flavor. Usually equated with early impact of sour was a salty-briny note, which was found at low levels of flavor intensity. At the same level of intensity was a gamey and/ or meaty flavor that was itself somewhat modified by a very slight sweet flavor. An earthy note was also part of the overall flavor profile but at very low levels. The impact of mouth drying was moderately low, and the aftertaste was sour-salty with some gamey note.

It is essentially from the results of research by other workers studying the chemistry of flavors that we are beginning to understand that those characteristics that distinguish one fish from another, such as salmon from sole, are attributed to chemical compounds that are endogenous in origin. We also know that exogenous flavor compounds from the environment can accidentally manifest themselves in fish, but these are generally considered as taints. Chemical compounds responsible for flavor attributes such as sweet, salty, or salty-briny, flavor characteristics common to the soles, are usually identified with the presence of sodium chloride (salt) or carbohydrates. However, the same flavors can also be caused by other chemical components such as peptides (aspartame) or nucleotides (IMP), chemicals known for their ability to impart or potentiate salty or sweet flavors in fish. Peptides are also known to influence bitter, sour, and acidic flavors common to tunas and sharks. Low pH, caused by the accumulation of lactic acid in fish muscle resulting from the breakdown of glycogen, can also produce sour flavors in fish.

Other flavor notes such as clamlike, shellfishlike, buttery, grassy, metallic, or sulfurlike, are the result of chemicals known as organic sulfides. One especially, dimethyl-sulfide (DMS), has been identified as producing the clam or shellfish flavor in certain gadoids and salmon when present in very small concentrations. Organic sulfides, which by their very nature can be complex, have also been r

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