The effects of harvesting procedures on physiological and biochemical properties of chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) white muscle prior to and during frozen storage
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
The object of this thesis was to investigate the role of two different harvest protocols on the post mortem physiology of Chinook salmon, and associated deteriorative processes that occur during frozen storage of the white muscle tissue. The two different harvest methods employed, termed 'rested' and 'exercised', were selected because of the contrasting levels of activity of the animal prior to, and upon, slaughter. While the latter represents conventional harvest techniques Rested and exercised harvesting protocols produced tissue in significantly different physiological states. Immediately post harvest, rested tissue maintained high metabolic energy stores of ATP and glycogen within the tissue, with low concentrations of tissue and plasma lactate. Exercised tissue exhibited near depleted concentrations of ATP and glycogen and a marked metabolic acidosis and lactate accumulation. When frozen immediately post harvest, rested white muscle tissue stored at -19℃ showed no significant changes in these metabolite concentrations over a six month period of profiling. However, during storage of rested tissue at -9℃, hydrolysis of ATP and glycogen with no coincident increase in lactate was observed. No significant changes in metabolite levels were observed within exercised tissue stored at -19 and -9℃, owing to the lack of metabolic energy stores. Transfer of tissue from frozen (-80 and -19℃) to chilled (-1 and +4℃) temperatures witnessed a rapid depletion of tissue ATP and glycogen stores, with rapid increases in tissue lactate concentrations. This metabolic activity was more significant in rested tissue owing to the larger concentrations of metabolic energy stores. This metabolic activity was identified to occur between the temperatures of -3 and -1.5℃ and occurred abruptly (i.e. ATP concentrations depleting in less than one hour) in time. During frozen storage (-19℃ and -9℃), harvest treatment had no significant effect on lipid oxidation processes. However, rested tissue showed a significant ability to retard lipid oxidation processes once removed from frozen storage and placed at chilled temperatures. Throughout six months storage at -19℃ storage, harvest treatment had a significant effect on the rate of protein denaturation as rested tissue consistently held higher concentrations of soluble protein over the storage period. No significant effect was observed between treatments in the rate of protein denaturation during one month frozen (-19℃) then chilled (+4℃) storage. In a supplementary frozen (-80℃) then chilled (-1℃) storage experiment, post mortem storage of rested, whole fish, at chilled (+5℃) temperatures prior to white muscle excision and freezing, was compared to rested and exercised tissue in which the white muscle had been excised and then frozen immediately post harvest. In this experiment rested tissue exposed to a 6 or 24 hour post mortem chilled storage period demonstrated significant retardation of lipid oxidation processes when compared to rested white muscle tissue that was excised and frozen immediately post harvest. Further comparison of the six and 24 hour post mortem stored tissue showed a significant increase in lipid oxidation products after 21 and 24 days chilled storage, respectively. Comparison of results from the six and 24 hour post mortem storage experiment were bordering on significance (p=0.083), warranting further investigation on the effect of post mortem storage of rested tissue on lipid oxidation processes.