Abstract: Rheological and Raman spectroscopic properties of surimi from three species [Alaska pollock (AP) (cold water), Pacific whiting (temperate water), and threadfin bream (warm water)] were investigated as affected by various chopping conditions. Comminuting Alaska pollock surimi at 0 °C demonstrated superior gel hardness and cohesiveness when chopping time was extended to 15–18 min; however, long chopping time at higher temperatures resulted in a significantly decreased gel texture particularly at 20 °C. Warm water fish threadfin bream exhibited higher gel texture when chopping was done longer at higher temperature. Rheological properties were significantly affected by both chopping time and temperature. Species effect, based on their thermal stability, was readily apparent. Raman spectroscopy revealed a significant change in disulfide linkage and the reduction of secondary structure upon extended chopping. Dynamic oscillation rheology demonstrated the damage of light meromyoisn and lowering of onset of gelling temperature as the chopping time was extended.
Practical Application: Chopping conditions to determine gel quality and manufacture surimi seafood are varied by all manufacturers. This paper covering three primary species for surimi with their suggested optimum chopping conditions: 15 min for Alaska pollock when chopped at 0 °C, 15 min for Pacific whiting at 15–20 °C, and 18 min for threadfin bream at 25–30 °C. The use of optimum chopping condition should maximize the value of each surimi and provide consistent quality to the end users.