Dried salted shrimp is a product made from raw shrimps, which are usually cooked and dried under direct sunlight. Brine cooking is an important step during the production of dried salted shrimp as it promotes changes that affect the product's end quality. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of brine concentration and boiling time on cholesterol oxidation products (COPs) formation and the concomitant changes in astaxanthin content and fatty acid profile in shrimp during cooking, sun drying, and storage. Boiling conditions did not affect COPs formation in shrimp after cooking. However, increased brine concentration and boiling time promoted high astaxanthin retention in cooked shrimp. During the first 24 h of sun drying, COPs formation in dried salted shrimp was influenced by the interaction between brine concentration and boiling time; in fact, the lowest COPs levels were observed in samples boiled at low brine concentration and short cooking times, as well as those boiled in brine with high salt concentration and long cooking times. Most astaxanthin (ca. 78%) present in cooked shrimp was degraded during solar drying. During storage, PUFA decreased, and a concomitant astaxanthin degradation and COPs formation in dried salted shrimp were observed. Neither boiling time nor storage at dark of dried salted shrimp prevented these changes.
Practical applications: The content of oxysterols in cooked dried shrimps can be minimized by optimizing the processing conditions to minimize the oxidation. This is useful for processors and consumers to reduce the intake of these toxic forms of cholesterol.
COPs and astaxanthin in dried shrimp were analysed during cooking, solar drying and storage. The COPs content in dried shrimp showed a dramatic increase after solar drying. During the ﬁrst 24 h of sun drying, COPs formation in dried salted shrimp was inﬂuenced by the brine concentration and boiling time.