Textural and biochemical changes during ripening of old-fashioned salted herrings

Mette Christensen, Eva Andersen, Line Christensen, Mogens L. Andersen, Caroline P. Baron

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Understanding of the biochemical reactions taking place during ripening of salted herring is still rather limited. Therefore, salted herrings were traditionally produced and the impact of the brine composition was evaluated in relation to the development of the characteristic texture of salted herrings. The aim of this study was to measure the texture changes during ripening using two differentmethods and to correlate the texture changeswith brine composition andwith biochemical modifications at themolecular level. RESULTS: During ripening (up to 151 days), hardness was higher in salted herrings compared to raw herrings, irrespective of the brine composition. However, the increase in hardness of herring prepared with extra brine occurred later. After prolonged storage (371 days), hardness was found for both batches to decrease to the level of raw herring. The increase in hardness during the ripening period could be explained by free-radical-induced cross-linking of myosin and the formation of aggregates. In addition, degradation of these aggregates correlated with the decrease in hardness observed at 371 days. CONCLUSIONS: Texture changes during ripening of salted herrings can be explained by oxidative reactions inducing myosin cross-linking followed by subsequent degradation of thesemyosin aggregates. The brine composition might play a role in the development of herring texture but this need to be investigated in more details. c 2010 Society of Chemical Industry
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)330-336
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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