Wrong salting method gives protein loss

Salting methods, temperature and pressure are of great significance for the loss of protein during the salting of fish. Trials carried out at Nofima Marin have provided many interesting results.

Production of salted fish takes several weeks, and regardless of the method some of the protein in the raw material is lost in the salt solution which runs out during the salting process. This loss often constitutes more than 10 percent of the protein depending on the raw material quality and the salting method.

Trials carried out with various salting methods showed that after one week in salt injection-salting (1.3 percent) provided the lowest loss of protein while dry salting (8.6 percent) provided the highest loss. After a further two weeks of dry salting, the loss was more or less the same (12 – 13 percent) regardless of which method was utilised to begin with.

– These results are interesting, but it will be important to carry out further controlled trials to acquire enhanced knowledge about the interaction between factors such as salting method, time, temperature and pressure before full-scale trials are implemented, says Head of Project Asbjørn Gildberg.

"Injection-salting can be particularly interesting if we manage to avoid the large protein loss during the dry salting process afterwards."

Nofima Marin’s report 2/09 "Protein loss from cod muscle during the salting process" describes in greater detail the methods and processes which have been used. (This report is in Norwegian language only.)

Nofima has had specialist responsibility for the project headed by the Bacalao Forum on behalf of the Fishery and Aquaculture Industry Research Fund (FHF).

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