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Effects of different stunning/slaughter methods on frozen fillets quality of cobia (Rachycentron canadum)

Vargas Baldi, Sheyla Cristina, Parisi, Giuliana, Bonelli, Antonio, Balieiro, Júlio Cesar Carvalho, Lapa Guimarães, Judite, Macedo Viegas, Elisabete Maria
Aquaculture 2018 v.486 pp. 107-113
Rachycentron canadum, actin, animal welfare, carbon dioxide, color, cooking quality, cutting, denaturation, drip loss, electronarcosis, fatty acid composition, fillet quality, fillets, fish, frozen storage, hypothermia, meat, meat quality, myosin, pH, shelf life, slaughter, storage temperature, storage time, stunning methods, texture, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances, total volatile basic nitrogen, unconsciousness, water holding capacity, water quality
The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of stunning/slaughter methods on the animal welfare aspects and on the physical and chemical parameters of frozen cobia (Rachycentron canadum) meat, during the frozen storage. Fish (n=30 per treatment) were stunned electronarcosis, by hypothermia and CO2 narcosis, then slaughtered by gill cutting and stored at −18°C for 180days. During stunning/slaughter, water quality and the time to reach clinical indicators of unconsciousness were observed. During the storage period, every 60days, samples were taken and analysed for pH, total volatile base nitrogen (TVBN), thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), protein (actin and myosin) denaturation, fatty acid composition, colour (L*, a*, and b*), texture, drip loss (DL), cooking loss (CL) and water holding capacity (WHC). The time to reach unconsciousness resulted faster (2s) when electronarcosis was applied, while the times were longer with hypothermia and CO2 narcosis (17.5min and 48min, respectively). TVBN, DL, TBARS, texture, actin, myosin, pH, L*, a*, and b* were not affected by the stunning methods while CL was significantly higher in fillet of fish stunned by electronarcosis not altering the shelf life of the fillets. Based on the behaviour of the parameters analysed, electronarcosis seemed to be an adequate stunning method for cobia, since promoted fast unconsciousness and it did not compromise flesh quality.