• catfish;
  • extraction;
  • gelatin;
  • gelatin film;
  • pretreatment

ABSTRACT:  Farm-raised catfish are important to the economy of the southeastern states in the United States, and catfish processing produces about 55% of by-products for inexpensive sale. Therefore, the utilization of catfish by-products is of great interest to the catfish industry. The objectives of this research were to determine the optimum pretreatment method to extract catfish gelatin for edible film application, and to characterize physical, mechanical, and barrier properties of edible films fabricated with catfish skin gelatin. Catfish skins obtained from a local plant were treated with 6 selected pretreatment methods. The main extraction was performed with deionized water at 50 °C after pretreatment. The gelatin yield was calculated and sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) was performed to characterize molecular weight (MW) profile. Color, tensile strength (TS), elongation, and water barrier property were determined to characterize the fabricated catfish gelatin films. From the results of gelatin yield, color, SDS-PAGE, as well as mechanical and barrier properties of the film, the pretreatment method with 0.25 M NaOH and 0.09 M acetic acid, followed by extraction at 50 °C for 3 h, was determined as the optimum extraction method. The catfish gelatin exhibited higher MW fractions than commercial mammalian gelatin. The catfish gelatin extracts possessed film-forming properties determined by TS, elongation, and water vapor permeability (WVP) comparable to those of commercial mammalian gelatin. The selected formula for catfish gelatin film was determined as 1% gelatin and 20% glycerol, resulting in greatest TS and lowest WVP.