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A Feasibility Study on the Use of Near Infrared Spectroscopy for the Authentication of Depurated Salmon Fillets


Some species of actinomycetes, fungi, and blue-green algae produce semivolatile off-flavor compounds responsible for earthy-musty odorants in water from aquaculture facilities and tend to bioaccumulate within fish flesh. Although these off-flavor compounds are harmless to human health, high levels within fish tissue lead to an undesirable taste leading to an unmarketable consumption quality. Preharvest processes such as depuration can be used to eliminate most of these off-flavor compounds and ultimately enhance salmon quality. This study examined the potential of near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to discriminate depurated from nondepurated salmon fillets (n = 62). Partial least squares discriminant analysis based on NIR spectra correctly classified 100 % of non-depurated and depurated salmon fillets. The successful classification was likely a consequence of statistically significant differences in the content of off-flavor compounds between both samples, which could have been detected by NIR spectra. Thus, NIRS is a fast, inexpensive, solvent-free, and non-destructive technology that can be used for the authentication of salmon with enhanced quality for marketing purposes.

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Financial support from the NRC-CHRC Industrial Research Assistance Program is gratefully acknowledged. Dr. N. Prieto thanks the Alberta Crop Industry Development Fund (ACIDF, 2011C313F) for funding support. The Conservation Fund Freshwater Institute’s research on the kinetics of off-flavor depuration in Atlantic salmon was supported by the Atlantic Salmon Federation (St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada), the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (Palo Alto, CA), and the USDA Agricultural Research Service under Agreement No.59-1930-5-510.

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All the authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

All institutional and national guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed.

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Correspondence to N. Prieto.

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Prieto, N., Swift, M.L., Summerfelt, S.T. et al. A Feasibility Study on the Use of Near Infrared Spectroscopy for the Authentication of Depurated Salmon Fillets. Food Anal. Methods 8, 2660–2664 (2015).

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