The effects of pre-salting methods on salt and water distribution of heavily salted cod, as analyzed by 1H and 23Na MRI, 23Na NMR, low-field NMR and physicochemical analysis

María Guðjónsdóttir, Amidou Traoré, Ásbjörn Jónsson, Magnea Gudrún Karlsdóttir, Sigurjón Arason

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The effect of different pre-salting methods (brine injection with salt with/without polyphosphates, brining and pickling) on the water and salt distribution in dry salted Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) fillets was studied with proton and sodium NMR and MRI methods, supported by physicochemical analysis of salt and water content as well as water holding capacity. The study indicated that double head brine injection with salt and phosphates lead to the least heterogeneous water distribution, while pickle salting had the least heterogeneous salt distribution. Fillets from all treatments contained spots with unsaturated brine, increasing the risk of microbial denaturation of the fillets during storage. Since a homogeneous water and salt distribution was not achieved with the studied pre-salting methods, further optimizations of the salting process, including the pre-salting and dry salting steps, must be made in the future.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFood Chemistry
Pages (from-to)664-672
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Dry salted cod (bacalao)
  • Salting methods
  • MRI
  • NMR
  • Physicochemical properties
  • Diffusion
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance
  • Phosphates
  • Water supply systems
  • Brine injection
  • Physico-chemical analysis
  • Physicochemical property
  • Polyphosphates
  • Water and salts
  • Water distributions
  • Water holding capacity
  • Injection (oil wells)


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