Hake catch. (Photo: Sock File)
Investigation launched into natural preservatives for chilled fish
Tuesday, April 26, 2011, 02:20 (GMT + 9)
Scientists at the Veterinary Faculty of Santiago, of the Institute of Marine Research in Vigo and from the Cooperative of Fishing Vessel Owners of the Port of Vigo (ARVI) have launched a research project on organic acid preservative capabilities for a better preservation of fish resources on board ships.
During the first stage of the initiative, the evidence to prove the preserving capability of natural organic acids in fish caught off Gran Sol fishing grounds were satisfactory, although not as much as expected, La Opinión informed.
In the experiments, they used citric, lactic and ascorbic acid provided by a commercial manufacturer. The researchers added these acids to ice water to refrigerate the fish on board.
The goal is to achieve an improved preservation of resources during the tide, which can last from one to two weeks in the fishing area mentioned.
Thus, it is intended that all fish have a similar quality and that it can be marketed at the same price.
"We are now at the laboratory testing stage, as we look at the different acids to determine which one works best separately and in different concentrations directly in fish; hake in the first phase and then megrim," explained Bibiana García, head of the research project at ARVI.
"The aim is to make our own preservative," she added. Those involved in the project "will release empirical data that includes sensory, microbiological, physical, chemical and nourishing aspects, intended to demonstrate the advantages of applying the substance on traditional ice which contains a certain amount and proportions of the natural organic acids mentioned above, as well as its safety, lifetime and sale of the product,” she explained.
Some of the preliminary findings mentioned in the ARVI report are:
- The species that seem to respond better to treatment with preservatives are hake and megrim;
- The optimum concentration is between 800 and 1000 ppm (parts per million), and a smaller value represents worse results in the preservation and higher values provide additional flavour and odor to the treated fish;
- On board, the only viable treatment today, without implying a longer processing of fish or a greater number of crew, is the addition of preservatives in the storage ice.
By Analia Murias