The report by D. Mantilla, H.G. Kristinsson, M.O. Balaban, W.S. Otwell, and S. Raghavan from the Aquatic Food Products Program, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition and M.A. Chapman from the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, at the University of Florida shows that carbon monoxide (CO) has been used for improving the colour of muscle foods in the past.
In the present study, they compared the postmortem treatment of tilapia fillets with 100 per cent CO and euthanasia of live tilapia with CO for their ability to stabilise the colour of white and red muscle of tilapia fillets.
Both postmortem CO treatment and CO euthanasia were effective in increasing the redness (a* value) and lightness (L* value) of tilapia white and red muscle.
Fillets obtained from CO-euthanised tilapia showed significantly higher a* and L* values during 1 mo of frozen storage at –20 ºC and subsequent thawing and storage at 4 ºC for 18 days.
The amount of CO present in the red and white muscles decreased during the 18 days of storage at 4 ºC. There was no significant difference in the pH, drip, or thaw loss of CO-treated tilapia fillets compared to the untreated fillets.
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