Abstract: The aim of this study was to use low-field nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and traditional chemical methods to investigate the physical and chemical differences in wild and farmed cod processed pre- and postrigor, and how these properties were affected by brine injection, brining, and freezing. In prerigor processed farmed or wild cod, brine injections followed by brining for 2 d, with brine concentrations up to 5.5% and 4%, respectively, were not sufficient to reach a muscle salt concentration of 2% as aimed for, while wild cod processed postrigor had sufficient salt uptake after the same processing. Low-field NMR gave valuable information about the differences in the muscle structure between wild and farmed cod as well as the state of the water in the muscle during brine injection, brining, and during rigor tension. Low-field NMR is, therefore, a valuable tool that can be used to optimize the salting and storing processes of lightly salted cod products from both wild and farmed cod. For farmed cod to be used in the production of lightly salted products further research is needed.
Practical Application: Optimal processing of lightly salted cod products is important to the fish industry, due to an increasing market for this product in southern Europe. Farmed cod, which is seen as a potential steady raw material source for this production, differs considerably from its wild counterparts by having other chemical and physical muscle properties, such as lower water content and lower pH. With the processing procedures used today the farmed cod can, therefore, only be used in some of the products, where wild cod is currently used as raw material. It is, therefore, important that the processing of these products is optimized with regard to these differences in the raw material. This study gives a valuable contribution to further studies about optimal combinations of brine injections, brining, and freezing of pre- and postrigor processed farmed compared to wild cod.