BACKGROUND: Populations of Coilia nasus, an anadromous fish, have declined dramatically in the Yangtze River estuary and its associated lakes owing to excessive fishing and changes in aquatic ecology. Recently, the success of artificial breeding programmes and advanced methods of propagation have allowed great increases in production of this species. Thus, to gain a better understanding of the flesh quality of C. nasus, muscle cellularity and quality parameters of the flesh were studied in wild and farmed specimens.
RESULTS: Muscle cellularity was different between wild and farmed fish. Muscle fibre density was significantly higher in farmed specimens, while muscle fibre diameter was higher in wild specimens. Farmed fish had higher moisture, hydroxyproline and collagen contents and a lower fat content compared with wild fish. No significant differences in textural parameters were found between the two groups. Saturated (SFA), polyunsaturated (PUFA) and total n-6 fatty acid contents were significantly higher in farmed fish, but monounsaturated fatty acid (MUPA) content was higher in wild fish.
CONCLUSION: The variation in the studied parameters determined significant differences in the flesh quality of wild and farmed C. nasus. Depending on muscle cellularity and fatty acid composition, farmed fish could be more suitable for human consumption than wild fish. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry