Department of Food Technology, Faculty of Agro-Industry, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Songkhla 90112, Thailand
Textural property of surimi products is a prime factor in determining the acceptability of consumer as well as market value. Gelatin is one of the most popular biopolymers widely used in food industry as gelling agent with the unique textural properties. Therefore, the addition of gelatin along with the use of protein cross-linkers could be a means to modify the texture of surimi gel, which can fit the demand of consumers. Surimi from the threadfin bream (Nemipterus bleekeri) was added with bovine gelatin (BG) and bovine/fish gelatin mix (BFGM; 1:1, 2:1, 1:2, 4:1, and 1:4) at 10% protein substitution in combination with and without microbial transglutaminase (MTGase) at 1.2 units/g surimi. Textural properties, whiteness, expressible moisture content, protein pattern, and microstructure and sensory properties of gels were determined. When MTGase at 1.2 units/g surimi was incorporated, the increases in breaking force and deformation were noticeable in both surimi gels, with and without 10% BG added ( p < 0.05). On the other hand, surimi gels added with BFGM at all bovine/fish gelatin ratios had the higher breaking force and deformation, compared with that added with BG, when MTGase was incorporated. Addition of BG or BFGM lowered the expressible moisture content and whiteness of surimi gel ( p < 0.05). Based on SDS-PAGE, band intensity of myosin heavy chain and actin of surimi gel decreased when surimi gel was added with all gelatins, regardless of MTGase addition. The microstructure study revealed that surimi gel network became finer and denser with the addition of MTGase (1.2 units/g surimi), but the coarser and irregular structure was obtained when gelatin was incorporated. Gelatin, especially bovine/fish gelatin mix, at an appropriate level could be used as the protein additive in surumi gel in conjunction with MTGase in order to improve the textural and nutritive properties of the products.