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Keywords:

  • Atlantic salmon;
  • stunning;
  • slaughter;
  • rigor mortis;
  • texture

ABSTRACT

Shear force and rigor mortis were used to evaluate the post-mortem changes of muscle texture in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). The fish were either stunned with carbon dioxide (CO2), electricity, or percussion prior to slaughter. The pre-mortem stress during CO2 stunning resulted in an earlier onset and resolution of rigor mortis, and accelerated post-mortem softening of the muscle tissue as compared to the other stunning methods. No significant differences, either in development of rigor mortis or shear force, were seen between fish that were stunned with electricity or by percussion. Consequently electricity can be used for stunning fish prior to slaughter.