Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Off Yari Road, Panch Marg, Versova, Andheri (W), Mumbai 400061, Maharashtra, India
Khar Land Research Station, Bunder Road, Near old court, Panvel, Raigad/Maharashtra, India
Surimi is a Japanese word for washed fish mince which can be used as a raw material for the preparation of various analogue products like shrimp, lobster, crab analogue, etc. which have a very good demand in the international market. Most of the lean fishes in tropical environment have good gel-forming ability, compared with fatty fishes but due to overexploitation of lean fishes its stock got depleted. However, fatty fish like lesser sardine have low gel-forming ability due to high fat content. Recently, plant phenolic compounds have been used successfully as protein cross-linkers. Therefore, an attempt has been made in the present investigation to extract phenolic compounds from seaweed which is abundantly available at the west coast of India and to use it as protein cross-linker in fatty fish, i.e. lesser sardine surimi. Water seaweed (Sargassum tenerrimum) extract (WSE) contained 16.24 mg tannin/g of dry seaweed powder. Effects of WSE at different levels (0.5–2.5 % of Surimi) on the properties of gels from lesser sardine (Sardinella brachiosoma) surimi were investigated in comparison with surimi gel without seaweed extract. Gels added with 2.0 % WSE had the increases in gel strength by 76.27 %, compared with the control (without addition of extracts). The lowered expressible moisture content was observed in surimi gels incorporated with 2 % WSE. Slight decreases in whiteness were observed with increasing seaweed extract concentration. Protein solubility % also indicates that, sample prepared with 2 % WSE have low solubility in 0.6 M KCL. There was no significant difference in the pH values of treated surimi gel and control surimi gel samples. Therefore, it may be concluded that the extract of seaweed can be used as gel enhancer in lesser sardine surimi with coincidental increase in texture likeness and had no negative effect on colour and odour likeness.