Free polyunsaturated fatty acids cause taste deterioration of salmon during frozen storage

Hanne Refsgaard, P.M.B. Brockhoff, Benny Jensen

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Increased intensity of train oil taste, bitterness, and metal taste are the most pronounced sensory changes during frozen storage of salmon (Refsgaard, H. H. F.; Brockhoff, P. B.; Jensen, B. Sensory and Chemical Changes in Farmed Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) during Frozen Storage. J. Agric. Food Chem. 1998a, 46, 3473-3479). Addition of each of the unsaturated fatty acids: palmitoleic acid (16:1, n - 7), linoleic acid (C18:2, it - 6), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; C20:5, it - 3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; C22:6, n. - 3) to fresh minced salmon changed the sensory perception and increased the intensity of train oil taste, bitterness, and metal taste. The added level of each fatty acid (similar to 1 mg/g salmon meat) was equivalent to the concentration of the fatty acids determined in salmon stored as fillet at -10 degrees C for 6 months. The effect of addition of the fatty acids on the intensity of train oil taste, bitterness and metal taste was in the order: DHA > palmitoleic acid > linoleic acid > EPA. Formation of free fatty acids was inhibited by cooking the salmon meat before storage. Furthermore, no changes in phospholipid level were observed during frozen storage. The results suggest that enzymatic hydrolysis of neutral lipids plays a major role in the sensory deterioration of salmon during frozen storage.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)3280-3285
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • free fatty acids
  • flavor
  • hydrolysis
  • salmon

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