The effects of salt-curing and salting procedures on the microstructure of cod (Gadus morhua) muscle
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The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of salting and different pre-salting procedures (injection and brining versus brining only) on the microstructure and water retention of heavy salted cod products. Salting resulted in shrinkage of fibre diameter and enlargement of inter-cellular space. Water was expelled from the muscle and a higher fraction became located in the extra-cellular matrix. These changes were suggested to originate from myofibrillar protein aggregation and enzymatic degradation of the connective tissue. During rehydration, the muscle absorbed water again and the fibers swelled up to a similar cross-sectional area as in the raw muscle. However, the inter-cellular space remained larger, resulting in a higher water content of the muscle in the rehydrated stage. The effects of different salting procedures were strongest after salting. At that stage of the process, the inter-cellular space tended to be larger in the injected and brined muscle than in the brined only. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.