story to find out more.
A fish farmer
guides a basket containing 2,000 pounds of catfish into a truck for transport
to a processing plant. To ensure that more parts of the fish can be marketed,
ARS scientists have developed food products from portions that are not normally
used or are mis-cut during processing. Click the image for more information
Today's Catch: Convenient Catfish Cuisine
By Jim Core
January 12, 2006
Several new food products developed by the Agricultural Research
Service (ARS) and made from low-value
fillet byproducts could help improve catfish processors' profits.
Jin Kim, a former food technologist with the ARS
Systems Research Unit in Pine Bluff, Ark., developed the convenient food
products from catfish nuggets and mis-cut fillets. Nuggets are small-sized
pieces of meat that processors trim off fillets.
Developing value-added products from these fish portions will increase
profitability for catfish producers. The U.S. catfish industry needs new
markets to offset competition from imported fish products, especially those
similar in quality and taste to catfish.
One drawback for catfish nuggets is the price per pound they bring at
market, which is nearly half the price brought by fillets. Including
ingredients such as cooked spinach, or wrapping the nugget in pasta, makes the
meat more appealing, according to Kim.
Kim has also developed methods for improving the taste and texture of
the nuggets by rinsing the meat with water and incorporating various functional
ingredients to improve texture. With special ingredients and preparation
methods, fat content is reduced.
In addition to nuggets, other meat portions, such as mis-cut fillets,
have been hard to market because they lack uniform appearance. Kim created
other new products, including microwaveable catfish wonton turnovers. He also
stuffed pasta with marinated and grilled nuggets that are seasoned with
Italian-style and Oriental spices.
Industry has already shown interest, and the research unit recently
received a grant from the
Promotion Board for the projects.
more about the research in the January 2006 issue of Agricultural Research
ARS is the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.