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ARS Home » Southeast Area » New Orleans, Louisiana » Southern Regional Research Center » Food Processing and Sensory Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #327621

Research Project: Postharvest Sensory, Processing and Packaging of Catfish

Location: Food Processing and Sensory Quality Research

Title: Effect of Pre-cooking and Addition of Phosphate on the Quality of Catfish Fillets Baked in Convention Oven

item Li, Carissa
item Bland, John
item Bechtel, Peter

Submitted to: Annual Meeting of the Institute of Food Technologists
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/19/2016
Publication Date: 7/17/2016
Citation: Li, C.H., Bland, J.M., Bechtel, P.J. 2016. Effect of Pre-cooking and Addition of Phosphate on the Quality of Catfish Fillets Baked in Convention Oven. Annual Meeting of the Institute of Food Technologists.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Frozen fish fillets designed to be baked or reheated in the home oven have been one of the major ways fish are consumed in the US. Examples includes frozen salmon, tilapia, pollock, and cod with different types of pre-treatment such as precooked, marinated, or breaded and par-fried products. However, frozen catfish fillets are a relatively small portion of the baked and/or reheated market. One objectives of this study was to examine the effect of precooking temperature on properties of catfish fillets that were subsequently baked in a convection oven. The second objective was to compare the properties of raw frozen and precooked frozen catfish fillets after baking. Finally, changes in properties as a consequence of a commercial phosphate blend were also evaluated. Both fresh and frozen (containing a commercial phosphate blend) fillets were purchased from a commercial Mississippi catfish processor and stored frozen. Fillets (5-7 oz) were trimmed and cut into three pieces each weighing approximately 50 g. For the experiment 6 fillet pieces were used for each treatment. Treatments included plus and minus precook (46°C, 60°C, and 71°C) and plus and minus phosphate. After a final baking in a convection oven, sample analysis included weight loss, moisture content, color (L*a*b*) using a Minolta colorimeter, pH, and mechanical texture (hardness). Precooked pieces of fish were prepared by cooking the fish in a 121°C oven until the desired internal temperature was obtained, followed by storing frozen until analyzed or reheated to 71°C in a convection oven. A target internal temperature of 60°C was determined as the best precooking temperature for fish fillets based on preliminary results. The pH values were lower for fillets containing phosphate. Both raw frozen and precooked frozen fillets (containing phosphate) showed significantly lower moisture loss after baking (~3%), relative to the fillets without phosphate, which had a 4.6-6.2% moisture loss. There was no significant difference in texture properties between treatments, however, an overall harder texture (~1.4 times, determined by average peak force per thickness) was determined for fillets without phosphate. This study will be used to develop precooked catfish products that can be reheated by baking.