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The effect of purging time on the sensory properties of aquacultured southern flounder (Paralichthys Lethostigma)
- Drake, S.L., Drake, M.A., Sanderson, R., Daniels, H.V., Yates, M.D.
- Journal of sensory studies 2010 v.25 no.2 pp. 246-259
- Paralichthys, analysis of variance, aquaculture tanks, consumer acceptance, fillets, flounder, freshwater, industry, off flavors, pouches, salinity, seafoods, sensory evaluation, taste
- This study was conducted to determine the impact of purging on the sensory flavor properties and consumer acceptance of aquacultured southern flounder, especially with regard to earthy/musty off-flavor common in aquacultured seafood. Flounders were placed into three different purge tanks based on salinity level (0, 15 and 30 ppt) and were held for 0, 2 or 4 weeks. Flounders were then filleted, vacuum-sealed and frozen at -20C. The fillets were poached in their vacuum-sealed pouches until cooked. Descriptive sensory analysis was conducted using a defined sensory lexicon (appearance and flavor) to document sensory properties. Consumer acceptance testing (n = 75 consumers) was then conducted. Differences between treatments were evaluated by analysis of variance with means separation. Two or four weeks of purging, regardless of salinity level, decreased earthy/musty off-flavor in cooked fillets. There was no difference in salty taste perception between 15 and 30 ppt salinity (P < 0.05). Consumers could not differentiate between fish purged for 2 or 4 weeks (P < 0.05), and acceptance for purged fillets was higher than acceptance for unpurged fillets (P < 0.05). The use of purging tanks for aquacultured flounder will be beneficial to the industry to guarantee a consistent and desirable flavor. Aquacultured flounder fillets are highly desirable and a potentially profitable product, but earthy/musty off flavor can limit consumer appeal. The results of our study demonstrate that purging flounder in fresh water for 2 weeks reduces earthy/musty off-flavor in cooked flounder fillets, and will help meet the goal of a high-quality and consistently flavored product.