Sensory and Physical Assessment of Microbiologically Safe Culinary Processes for Fish and Shellfish

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Virginia Tech

Numerous food-borne illnesses are associated with fish and shellfish annually due to consumers choosing to eat seafood raw or undercooked and consumers not properly handling and preparing seafood. The 2009 FDA Food Code suggests intact fish and shellfish should be cooked to an internal temperature of 63°C to target Salmonella spp. Selected fish and shellfish were cooked to 64°C ± 1 and 74°C ± 1 and evaluated for consumer acceptability, characteristics of doneness at temperature endpoints, and physical changes of texture (TPA, KSC, and WB), color, and cook loss. Temperature endpoints represented the recommended internal temperature and ten degrees higher to increase lethality of Salmonella spp. Differences (p < 0.05) in texture were determined among the methods and products tested. However, consumer acceptability (n = 50) for fish and shellfish products (salmon: baked, poached; tilapia: baked, pan-fried; and shrimp: boiled) cooked to 64°C ± 1 and 74°C ± 1 were liked equally (p > 0.05), with mean hedonic scores falling between 6 (like slightly) and 7 (like moderately). A trained descriptive panel (n = 7) reviewed visual and non-oral texture indicators of doneness to distinguish 64°C ± 1 and 74°C ± 1. Firmness and shape of shrimp, separation between muscle flakes and fillet edge color of baked tilapia, and firmness and edge color of the fillet for baked salmon were identified as indicators to determine doneness. Overall, 74°C could be recommended as the internal temperature for cooking fish/shellfish such as salmon, tilapia, and shrimp without diminishing eating quality or acceptability.

safety, texture, sensory, salmon, seafood, shellfish, fish, tilapia, shrimp. oysters, cooking, culinary