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ARS Home » Southeast Area » New Orleans, Louisiana » Southern Regional Research Center » Food Processing and Sensory Quality Research » Research » Research Project #438321

Research Project: Improving Evaluation of Catfish Quality and Reducing Fish Waste

Location: Food Processing and Sensory Quality Research

Project Number: 6054-43440-051-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: May 28, 2020
End Date: May 27, 2025

Objective:
The objective of this research project is to stimulate consumer demand for U.S. farm raised catfish products and increase the profitability of the Catfish Industry through improved product quality.

Approach:
By improving methodology for detecting the presence of off-flavor compounds in farm raised catfish, fewer off-flavor fish should reach the consumer, resulting in an increased demand and market share for U.S. farm raised catfish. To improve quality, this project will assess and provide feedback to individual catfish processing plants on the proportion of fish with off-flavors, passing through their plant and will work directly with these plants to control off-flavor issues at the plant. Additionally, current methods for mitigating off-flavors are primarily pre-harvest approaches, and can be costly, time consuming and increase fish stress. Post-harvest research is proposed to treat mildly off-flavored fillets with weak acids and marinades to mitigate the off-flavor compounds and expand the catfish line of products. Furthermore, methods for improving shelf life of fresh and frozen fillets will be examined using UV-C light, and vacuum packaging. Research proposed here will enable the existing U.S. Catfish Industry to better control quality, provide new co-products and improve shelf life.