Quality Assessment of Lightly Salted Atlantic Salmon Fillets Injected With Brine Solutions Containing Sodium Bicarbonate

  •  Magnus Åsli    
  •  Marit Rødbotten    
  •  Gjermund Vogt    
  •  Sergey Afanasyev    
  •  Turid Mørkøre    


The objective of this study was to produce lightly salted Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) fillets with improved technical and sensory attributes. Brine containing 0, 50, 150 or 250 g/L NaCl with or without additional 25 g/L sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) was injected into the fillets. 24 hours after injection, the muscle NaCl concentration ranged from 0.2 to 2.4%, and pH ranged from 6.18 to 6.48. Untreated fillets lost 1% weight, whereas the weight increase was 4% of the fillets injected with NaCl or a combination of NaCl and NaHCO3. Liquid loss (LL) during storage at 4°C for three days were similar for the untreated fillets and the fillets injected with 50 g/L NaCl (LL 12%), while LL was reduced to 7.5% with the addition of NaHCO3 to the 50 g/L brine. LL was the lowest for the groups injected with 250 g/L NaCl. Injection of NaCl resulted in higher lipid oxidation compared with untreated fillets, determined as doubled levels of alkanals (4.3 vs. 10.4 ng/g) and pentenols (8.0 vs. 15.1 ng/g), but addition of NaHCO3 counteracted the action of NaCl as a pro-oxidant. Furthermore, NaHCO3 addition of the 50 g/L brine significantly improved the color of raw and cooked fillets (higher a*-value, Salmo Fan score, red/orange color tone). Sensory assessment of cooked fillet revealed that brine added NaHCO3 gave superior odor (less rancid), flavor (less metallic) and higher scores for tenderness. In conclusion, addition of NaHCO3 to the brine solutions improved liquid retention, storage stability, color, odor and flavor of lightly salted salmon fillets.

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