• Chinook salmon;
  • harvest;
  • lipid oxidation;
  • storage;
  • thaw

ABSTRACT:  Two different harvest procedures were employed to investigate whether the method of harvest has an effect upon deteriorative processes that occur during the frozen storage of Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) white muscle tissue. These 2 harvest methods, termed “rested”—involving sedation with the aquatic anesthetic AQUI-S™ and “exercised”—a simulated conventional harvest not involving sedation, contrasted levels of activity of the animal prior to and upon slaughter. Rested and exercised harvesting protocols produced tissue in significantly different postmortem physiological states prior to freezing. Rested, postharvest tissue maintained high metabolic energy stores of ATP and glycogen within the tissue, with low concentrations of tissue and plasma lactate. Exercised tissue exhibited near depleted concentrations of ATP and glycogen and a marked lactate accumulation. In both treatments, no significant change in metabolite levels was seen over a 6-mo storage period at −19 °C when tissue was frozen immediately postharvest. Transfer of tissue from frozen temperatures (−80 and −19 °C), to refrigerated (−1 and +4 °C, respectively) resulted in rapid glycolysis, depleting tissue ATP and glycogen stores and increasing tissue lactate concentrations. Metabolic activity was more significant in rested tissue owing to the larger concentrations of metabolic energy stores and occurred at temperatures between −3 and −1.5 °C. During frozen storage (−19 °C), there was an increase in the secondary lipid oxidation product TBARS, but harvest treatment had no effect. However, following transfer from frozen to refrigerated (+4 and −1 °C) storage, rested tissue showed a significant ability to retard the development of TBARS products.