ABSTRACT: Carmine used to color surimi seafood often seeps or bleeds from red-colored meat to white meat when vacuum-packed products go through high-temperature long-time pasteurization. Various physical and chemical treatments were examined to investigate means to inhibit or minimize carmine bleeding in surimi seafood products. Degree of bleeding was analyzed using L* (lightness) and a* (redness) as affected by carmine concentrations, pH, pasteurization conditions, and added calcium compounds. Bleeding was significantly affected by carmine concentrations. Optimum carmine concentration in color paste was 0.1%. Bleeding increased when pasteurization time and/or temperature increased. Color bleeding was also affected by moisture content of surimi paste. Carmine bleeding was minimized as pH of color solution decreased. The degree of bleeding was controlled as calcium compounds were added in color solution in a descending order of calcium chloride, calcium acetate, and calcium hydroxide. Minimal inhibition was obtained when color solutions contained calcium citrate, tricalcium phosphate, and calcium lactate.
Practical Application: This manuscript addresses one of the long time problems in the surimi crabstick industry. Various means to control carmine bleeding or color transfer under high temperature for long time pasteurization were demonstrated. However, further study must continue to stop bleeding completely.