Submitted to: Proceedings of Tropical & Subtropical Seafood Science Technology Society
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/29/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Alternative fish products and alternative species would allow fish farmers to expand their yields and marketing opportunities. However, little information is available on the marketing potential of alternative fish species such as bighead carp. Arkansas fish farmers raise bighead carp with catfish and then sell the carp to Asian ethnic markets as a live product. However, that market is easily saturated resulting in wide fluctuations in supply and price. Therefore, a higher-volume market outlet, such as a cannery, could provide stability and a constant market for bighead carp. As part of ongoing product development efforts, this study was initiated to determine the acceptability and market potential of two canned products prepared from either steam or oven cooked carp prior to canning. Ninety consumers were asked open-ended questions about how the products compared to canned tuna, salmon and mackerel. The consumers readily accepted both products with the steam-cooked carp being slightly more preferred than the oven-cooked carp. Over 60% of the consumers thought the two products were better than or equal to canned tuna and that they would be willing to pay as much for the canned bighead carp as tuna. When asked how they would improve either carp product, the consumer group suggested making the carp meat more saltier and firmer.
Technical Abstract: A hybrid-type canned product with some bones has shown promise from yield and processing cost perspectives. The hybrid product has properties that fall between those of a totally boneless product, like tuna, and those of a fully bones product, lake salmon. Hybrid-type products made from bighead carp loins that had been either precooked in steam or convection oven were evaluated by a consumer panel of 90 individuals. The consumers were not told the identity of the fish under consideration. Acceptability was estimated by use of hedonic scales for sensory attributes, open-ended questions about how the products compared to similar canned fish products, and the just right scale for attribute direction for change. Willingness to pay compared to similar products also was determined for each product. Both carp products were light in color and contained less than 1% crud lipids. Acceptability of both products was good with the steam-cooked carp pproducts being slightly more preferred inmost categories. Over 50% of panelists rated the steam-cooled products as either like very much or like moderately. Likewise, over 60% of panelists indicted that either carp product was better than of equal to canned tuna and that they would be willing to pay as much for either product as tuna. Just right scoring demonstrated that both products could be improved by making them firmer and saltier.