Menhaden (Brevoortia tyrannus): utilization as a potential food resource

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


Thermally processed menhaden products were evaluated as potential food products. Nine canned menhaden products judged to be satisfactory in pilot studies were canned or pasteurized and evaluated by a six member semi—trained panel. Panelists scored product characteristics of menhaden products and commercially canned tuna in oil, tuna in water and mackerel. Three canned menhaden products were incorporated in "pizza" sauce and in fish salad recipes that were scored for preference by consumer panelists. Objective measurements for drained weight and total fluid were recorded.

Descriptive analysis of the nine canned menhaden products indicated that the dressed and filleted menhaden products were similar in the firmness, flakiness, chewiness, moisture, and fish flavor characteristics. Canned minced menhaden products were significantly different from the dressed and filleted fish products in the texture characteristics: firmness, flakiness and chewiness.

Plots drawn for comparison of mean characteristic scores of each menhaden product and the three comparison products (tuna in oil, tuna in water, mackerel) indicated that the canned filleted menhaden in oil was judged by a semi—trained panel to be similar to the two commercially canned tuna products.

Consumer preference scores for the menhaden products were significantly different from the scores for comparison products used in the pizza sauces and fish salads. The menhaden fish salads and the menhaden pizza sauce were scored lower. Objective measurements indicated that the use of an alum and citric acid brine increased percent weight loss and percent fluid loss. The minced menhaden product brined in alum and citric acid had the highest recorded percent weight loss and percent fluid loss. Pilot study and consumer preference panelists indicated that the alum and citric acid brine imparted a metallic aftertaste to the canned menhaden products.