Abstract: Texture is one of the most important quality attributes of fish fillets, and accurate assessment of variation in this attribute, as affected by storage and handling, is critical in providing consistent quality product. Trout fillets received 4 treatments: 3-d refrigeration (R3), 7-d refrigeration (R7), 3-d refrigeration followed by 30-d frozen storage (R3F30), and 7-d refrigeration followed by 30-d frozen storage (R7F30). Instrumental texture of raw and cooked fillets was determined by 3 approaches: 5-blade Allo-Kramer (AK) and variable-blade (VB) attachment with 12 blades arranged in perpendicular (PER) and parallel (PAR) orientations to muscle fibers. Correlation between instrumental texture and sensory hardness, juiciness, elasticity, fatness, and coarseness was determined. Muscle pH remained constant at 6.54 to 6.64. Raw fillets lost 3.66% of their original weight after 30-d frozen storage. After cooking, weight loss further increased to 15.97%. Moisture content decreased from 69.11 to 65.02%, while fat content remained constant at 10.41%. VBPER detected differences in muscle sample strength (P= 0.0019) and demonstrated effect of shear direction reported as maximum force (g force/g sample). AKPER detected differences in energy of shear (g × mm; P= 0.0001). Fillets that received F30 treatments were less extensible. Cooking increased muscle strength and toughness. Force determined by VBPER was correlated with sensory hardness (r= 0.423, P= 0.0394) and cook loss (r= 0.412, P= 0.0450). VB attachment is accurate, valid, and less destructive in fillet texture analysis.
Practical Application: A new shearing device was validated with sensory analysis. Settings and parameters obtained could be used to define fillet texture quality associated with muscle fiber orientation.