Submitted to: Annual Meeting of the Institute of Food Technologists
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/19/2016
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Cooking or reheating food in a vacuum sealed bag has been a common method of preparing vegetables, meat and poultry products. There are very few examples of vacuum sealed bags designed for cooking or reheating catfish fillets. The objective of the present study was to examine the properties of raw frozen and precooked frozen catfish fillets that were cooked in vacuum sealed pouch in boiling water. The effect of a commercial phosphate blend on properties of boiled raw frozen and precooked frozen catfish fillets was 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 oven precook and plus and minus phosphate. After boiling in pouch, sample analysis included weight loss, moisture content, color (L*a*b*) using a Minolta colorimeter, pH, and texture (hardness) using a TA.XT Plus Texture Analyzer. Precooked pieces of fish were prepared by cooking the fish in a 121°C oven until an internal temperature of 60°C was obtained, followed by storing frozen until analyzed or cooked to 93-98°C in a pouch in boiling water. Preliminary studies indicated boiling in water for 15 minutes was the best for frozen catfish fillet pieces of ~50 g to reach a uniform temperature of ~95°C. Both raw frozen and precooked frozen fillets containing phosphate showed significantly lower moisture loss after cooking (less than 2.1%) relative to the fillets without phosphate, which had a 4.7-5.6% moisture loss. Color analysis showed a notable increase in yellow color after cooking, with a higher b* value for fillets without phosphate. Similar texture properties were observed 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 in a vacuum sealed bag placed in boiling water.