Effects of live-chilling on product quality
Effective chilling of the fish is crucial in terms of high product quality and shelf life. Chilling is usually carried out after gutting, when the fish are packed. However, the poikilothermy of fish, i.e. their body temperature dependence on the surrounding water, provides another option for chilling and that is live-chilling. Live-chilling could decrease the variation in slaughter quality caused by water temperature and seasonal changes.
The goal of the project
The goal was to evaluate the feasibility of chilling live fish in Finland, especially during the warm season. The project was divided into three sub-projects: building a recirculation chilling system, culturing and catching the fish material and running slaughtering experiments, in which the effects of live-chilling on rigor mortis (stiffness after death), stress and product quality were assessed in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), European whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus) and perch (Perca fluviatilis)
|Photo: Susanna Airaksinen|
A chilling temperature that was too low induced stress in rainbow trout and perch. Finding the right species-specific chilling temperature is essential for optimising the positive effects of chilling among different fish species. Results suggest that the mechanisms affecting quality interact and that temperature, stress responses and the metabolism of the fish are all involved.
Scientist in charge of project
Turku Game and Fisheries Research
Itäinen Pitkäkatu 3
FI-20520 Turku, Finland
Phone +35820 575 1681
Other research staff: Susanna Airaksinen, Tarja Aro, Markku Vaajala