• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Title Page
 Abstract
 Table of Contents
 List of Tables
 List of Figures
 Acknowledgement
 Abstract
 Introduction
 Product development
 Recommended production process
 Production with various specie...
 Storage studies
 Consumer survey
 Conclusion






Group Title: Technical paper - Florida Sea Grant College ; no. 19
Title: Low temperature smoked fish fillets
CITATION PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00074936/00001
 Material Information
Title: Low temperature smoked fish fillets a potential new product form for Florida fish
Series Title: Technical paper Florida Sea Grant College
Physical Description: vii, 26 p. : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Otwell, W. Steven
Koburger, John A
Degner, Robert L
Florida Sea Grant College
Publisher: Marine Advisory Program
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla.
Publication Date: [1980]
 Subjects
Subject: Smoked fish   ( lcsh )
Fish fillets   ( lcsh )
Fishery products -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by W. Steven Otwell, John A. Koburger, and Robert L. Degner.
General Note: "December 1980."
General Note: "... compiled by the Florida Sea Grant College with support from NOAA Office of Sea Grant, U.S. Department of Commerce, grant number 04-8-M01- 76."
Funding: Technical paper (Florida Sea Grant College) ;
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00074936
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000990245
oclc - 17552619
notis - AEW7157

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Title Page
    Abstract
        Abstract
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents
    List of Tables
        List of Tables
    List of Figures
        List of Figures
    Acknowledgement
        Acknowledgement
    Abstract
        Abstract 1
        Abstract 2
    Introduction
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Product development
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
    Recommended production process
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Production with various species
        Page 12
        Page 13
    Storage studies
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
    Consumer survey
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
    Conclusion
        Page 26
Full Text














LOW TEMPERATURE SMOKED FISH FILLETS:
A POTENTIAL NEW PRODUCT FORM
FOR FLORIDA FISH

BY

W. Steven Otwell, John A. Koburger,
and Robert L. Degner


Technical Paper No. 19
December 1980









Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611


Technical papers are duplicated in limited quantities for
specialized audiences requiring rapid access to information and
may receive only limited editing. This paper was compiled by
the Florida Sea Grant College with support from NOAA Office of
Sea Grant, U.S. Department of Commerce, grant number 04-8-M01-76.
It was published by the Marine Advisory Program which functions
as a component of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service,
John T. Woeste, Dean, in conducting Cooperative Extension work in
Agriculture, Home Economics, and Marine Sciences, State of Florida,
U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Commerce, and
Boards of County Commissioners, cooperating. Printed and distributed
in furtherance of the Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 14, 1914.
The Florida Sea Grant College is an Equal Employment Opportunity-
Affirmative Action Employer authorized to provide research, educa-
tional information and other services only to individuals and
institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex, or
national origin.
















ABSTRACT


The objective of this work was to develop a new product form which

could expand the use of traditional and underutilized Florida fish. The

product is a skinless and boneless fish fillet which has been flavored

by a low temperature smoking (LTS) process. The LTS process requires

less heat energy for production and provides a greater product yield than

the traditional hot smoking process. The LTS fillets can be frozen

and are cooked prior to serving. Market surveys with over 400 respondents

have indicated a very positive consumer reaction. The LTS fillets are

a unique seafood form which provides consumers with a new seafood choice.



Key words: Smoked fish, underutilized fish, new product.




















TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page


LIST OF TABLES..................................................... iv

LIST OF FIGURES.................................................. v

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT.................................................. vi

SUMMARY.......................................................... vii

INTRODUCTION..................................................... 1

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT............................................... 4

Brining..................................... ............. .... 4
Smoking Time................................................ 6
Packaging and Storage................................. ...... 7
Cooking Method............................................... 8

RECOMMENDED PRODUCTION PROCESS................................... 10

Brining..................................................... 10
Smoking..................................................... 11
Packaging and Storage...................................... 11
Cooking.................................... ................. 11

PRODUCTION WITH VARIOUS SPECIES.......... ....................... 12

STORAGE STUDIES ............................. ..................... 14

CONSUMER SURVEY.................................................. 18

CONCLUSION....................................................... 26















LIST OF TABLES


Table Page

1 Effect of brine concentration on panel preference for fried
LTS mullet fillets previously smoked for 1 hours............. 6

2 Effect of smoking time on panel preference for fried LTS
mullet fillets previously soaked in 4 percent brine.......... 7

3 Effect of cooking procedure on panel preference for LTS
mullet fillets.............................................. 9

j4 Sensory evaluations of LTS fillets prepared from various fish
species ..................................................... 13

15 Effect of frozen storage on panel preference for fried LTS
mullet fillets............................................. 15

6 Sensory evaluations of influence of frozen storage on LTS
fillets prepared from various fish species.................. 17

7 Consumer ratings of characteristics of the test product and
previously eaten smoked fish................................. 20

8 Consumer ratings of physical attributes of the smoked fish
fillets........................................................ 21

9 Primary food shoppers' purchase intentions for the test
product...................................................... 22

10 Primary food shoppers' preferred package sizes for frozen
fish fillets................................................. 22

11 Primary food shoppers' indicated substitution of the test
product for currently available frozen fish fillets.......... 23

12 Respondents' intentions to order the test product if avail-
able in restaurants by current frequency of fish fillet
orders ..................................................... 24

13 Respondents' ability to correctly identify species from which
test products were made...................................... 25
















LIST OF FIGURES


Figure

1 Standard process for the production of LTS fish
fillets.....................................................


Page


5
















ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


Financial support for this product development work was provided

cooperatively by the Agricultural Experiment Station, Institute of

Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida and the State

University System of the Florida Sea Grant Program. Financial support

for the consumer survey was provided by immediate response funds from

the State University System of the Florida Sea Grant Program.

The completion of this work would not have been possible without

the valuable assistance of others which deserve specific recognition.

Sam May, laboratory technologist, provided many hours of assist-

ance in preparing the products and conducting a series of taste panels.

Frank Lawlor, Florida Cooperative Extension Service and Sea Grant

Marine Advisory Agent, helped in obtaining fish for producing the

LTS fillets.

Ricacdo Alvarez, graduate student, provided general laboratory

assistance and helped conduct various taste panels.

Barbara Prichard, secretary, prepared all drafts and the final

reports.

Various members, too numerous to list, of the Department of Food

Science and Human Nutrition served as taste panelists.

The market survey firms, Carmen Jones Market Research, Inc. and

Tampa Bay Opinion Mart conducted the well organized consumer surveys.

Judy King, statistician, prepared the informative statistical

analysis of the consumer survey data.
















SUMMARY


The objective of this work was to develop a new product form to
expand the use of traditional and underutilized Florida fish.

The product is a skinless and boneless fish fillet which has been
flavored by a low temperature smoking (LTS) process. Prior to serving,
the finished product must be cooked. The combination of first low
temperature smoking to impart flavor, then cooking results in a final
product that differs from the traditional hot smoked fish.

Product development work has outlined a recommended product
process as determined with product ratings by preference panels. The
basic recommended procedure is a 4 percent brine soak for 30 minutes,
air drying, smoking for 1 hours at temperatures from 800F to 1200F,
then frozen storage. All various cooking methods, including baking,
broiling, and frying, were rated acceptable.

Acceptable LTS fillets were produced from mullet., grouper, snapper,
Spanish mackerel, and cod. Frozen storage of the whole fish or 3 months
frozen storage of the finished fillets was not detrimental to the qual-
ity and panel preference for the LTS fillets.

Consumer surveys by professional market survey firms in Tampa and
Jacksonville indicated a very positive consumer reaction to LTS fillets.
Ninety-one percent of the primary food shoppers interviewed said they
would buy LTS fillets if they were available. A high percentage of the
402 respondents indicated they would order LTS fillets if available
in restaurants.

The LTS fillets are a unique seafood form which could provide
consumers a new seafood choice. There is no one best method for pro-
duction of LTS fish fillets. Industry production of LTS fillets will
require necessary process modification to assure volume production with
quality control.




r







Low Temperature Smoked Fisti Fillets:

A Potential New Product Form For Florida Fish


W. Steven Otwell, John A. Koburger and Robert L. Degnerl


INTRODUCTION


A new product form has been developed to expand the use of tradi-

tional and underutilized fish species harvested in Florida. This

product is a skinless and boneless fish fillet which has beer flavored

by a low temperature smoking process. The combination of first low

temperature smoking (LTS) to impart flavor, then cooking either by frying,

baking, or broiling results in a final product that differs from traditional

hot smoked fish.

The basic production process was derived from modifications of the

cold smoking techniques commonly used in Europe to produce kipper fillets

from herring. The recommended LTS process requires only 1 hours

smoking time at temperatures between 80F to 1200F (270 to 490C); whereas,

hot smoking processes usually require a smoking time between 4 to 12

hours at temperatures in excess of 1400F (600C). The smoked flavor and

color are similar to that associated with traditional hot smoked fish,

but the LTS process requires less heat energy during production and

minimizes product dehydration. The boneless and skinless features of the

product should be more appealing to the typical American consumer, and

the finished product can be cooked by all che various methods typically

used to prepare regular, uncured fish. Thus, this new product form



1W. Steven Otwell is assistant professor and John A. Koburger is a profes-
sor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, and Robert L.
Degner is an assistant professor in the Department of Food and Resource
Economics. Both Departments are part of the Institute of Food and Agri-
cultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville.










combines the desirable features of both regular fish and traditional

hot smoked fish.

Although the recommended LTS temperatures are lower than the re-

quired smokin- temperature specified in the U. S. Food and Drug Admin-

istration's Good Manufacturing Practice Regulations (GMP's) for hot smoked
2
fish2, this product is essentially cold smoked and subsequent!handling

procedures, and frozen storage must comply with the BMP's for handling perish

able foods. Currently, the GMP's for smoked fish are being revised and

should include guidelines for cold smoked products. These guidelines

should provide considerations for lower smoke temperatures if proper

sanitation and storage are employed. Thus, LTS fillets provide product

quality and safety to assure consumer satisfaction.

The recommended LTS process can provide a final product yield from

the raw fillets in excess of 98 percent as compared to lower product

yield, 50 to 75 percent from raw fish products entering the smokehouse

for preparation by traditional hot smoking methods. The finished LTS

product can be packaged whole or in controlled portions for frozen

storage. Tests have demonstrated that LTS fillets can remain frozen for

over three months with no detrimental effects on flavor or texture.

Thus, this new product is well suited to meet the typical requirements

for producers, retail outlets, restaurants, and fast food firms, i.e. high

yield, portion control, and extended shelf-life.

The LTS fillet is a non-species specific product which permits use

of a variety of fish species to produce the same product form. The

original product development was conducted using mullet, Mugil cephalus,



2Smoked and Smoked-Flavored Fish, Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21,
Part 128A, subpart A, effective date February 12, 1970.










but subsequent tests have verified successful production of the LTS

fillets from grouper, snapper, cod, and Spanish mackerel. These results

indicate the LTS fish fillets can be made from lean or fatty fish, and

from popular or underutilized fish. The fish species used would be

based on the economic discretion of the producer. The producer must

consider fish availability, fillet yield, fillet size, and labor

costs.

This product is an excellent way to utilize 'spent' (roe removed)

mullet carcasses. During recent years, foreign seafood firms have

expanded their demand for mullet roe. More than 250 thousand pounds of

roe was purchased in 1978 form the southeastern region of the United

States (personal communications, 1979). This accounts for about one

million pounds of whole mullet. Florida is the principle mullet roe

exporting state. Market value for the roe alone provides an adequate

net revenue and high enough return on investment to mullet fishermen

to encourage catching the mullet, even if no market exists for the

carcass. Since roe production is highly seasonal, and 'spent' or

cut mullet carcasses cannot be successfully stored, large volumes of

carcasses are available during roe season and must be sold at very low

prices. The fillets, an excellent protein source, could be recovered as an

LTS product for additional profit.

The LTS fillets are a unique seafood form which could provide

consumers with a new seafood choice. A broader product choice should

increase the overall demand for seafoods. Further, it may be possible

to introduce certain underutilized fish, i.e. jacks, croakers, bluefish,

etc., in the form of LTS fillets.









PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT


Initial product development work concentrated on the utilization of

mullet, Mugil cephalus. Large mullet were harvested in the fall of 1979

with commercial gill nets set along the West coast o. Florida. Ripe roe

was removed from the female mullet and marketed through commercial channels.

Boneless and skinless fillets were hand cut from the remaining fresh

carcasses. The fillet yields were approximately 20-25% of the live weight.

Tests were designed to determine the effects of brine concentrations,

smoking times, methods of cooking, and frozen storage on acceptance of

LTS mullet fillets. Figure 1 outlines the standard production process.

After the fillets were cleaned and/or thawed, the standard production

process consisted of soaking in a brine solution, air drying, low tem-

perature smoking, packaging, and storage (Figure 1).


Brining

The effects of various brine concentrations (0, 2, 4, and 6 percent

salt) on product preference was determined using the standard production

process. A two percent brine concentration equalled two cups of salt

per nine gallons of fresh water, four percent equalled four cups, etc.

The smoking time was 1 1/2 hours at 1200F (490C). The LTS

samples were deep fat fried at 350F (1770C) for two minutes. Unidentified

samples of the finished products were presented to taste panelists, who

scored their level of product preference per brine concentration. The

highest percentage of panelists preferred LTS fillets presoaked in a four

percent brine (Table 1) which indicated the four percent brine provided

,the preferred flavor. The results indicated the panelists expected a salt

flavor with smoked fish but excessive salt was objectionable. On the










FISH FILLETS

(Boneless and Skialess)


CLEAN AND/OR THAW


COLD SMOKING (1200F)
4-I

COOL

PACKAGE AND STORAGE (frozen)4

PACKAGE AND STORAGE (frozen)


I COOK AND SERVE


Figure 1. Standard process for the production LTS fish fillets.










basis of these results, a brine concentration of four percent was selected

for use in continuing studies.


Table 1.--Effect of brine concentration on panel preference for fried
LT mullet fillets previously smoked for 1 hours.



Scoring
Percent Liked Best Liked Least
Brine 1 2 3 4 Totalsa


Percent

0 0 2 13 85 100
2 12 30 52 7 101
4 53 38 5 3 99
6 35 30 30 5 100


aTotals percentages may not sum to 100 percent due to rounding.

percentages are based on 30 preference panelist scoring obtained
in three test replications for a total of 90 observations per
brine concentration.



Smoking Time

The effects of various smoking times (no smoking, 1, and 3 hours)

at 1200F (490C) on product preference was determined using standard

procedures. All fillets were presoaked in a four percent brine for 30

minutes prior to smoking. All smoking was done in a Koch Grandprise

smokehouse with an external smoke generator. Smoke was produced from

hickory dust smoldering on electric resistance coils. The smoking

chamber was vented for air flow, but there were no humidity controls.

The air vents were fully opened during the first half hour of smoking and

closed during the final hour.









Unidentified fried samples of the finished product were presented to

a 20 member sensory panel. Fillets used in this test were not previously

frozen. The panelists rated product aroma, color, texture, flavor, and

overall preference based on a 9 point scale (9 = excellent; 1 = extremely

poor). The results (Table 2) indicated the panelists preferred some smoke

time, but there was no significant difference in preference for product

smoked 1 or 3 hours. The longer smoke time, however, produced a slightly

darker, tougher product. Based on the highest overall rating and energy

conservation, the 1 hour smoke time was selected for further studies.


Table 2.--Effect of smoking time on panel preference for fried LTS
mullet fillets previously soaked in four percent brine.




Time of Smoking

Product Characteristics 3 hrs. 1i hrs. None

Mean Ratinga

Aroma 7.1 7.1 6.7
Color 6.4 7.3 6.4
Texture 6.8 7.3 7.0
Flavor 7.2 7.0 6.2
Overall preference 7.2* 7.5* 6.3t


aRatings are based upon a preference scale where 9 = excellent and
1 = extremely poor. Mean ratings are based on 20 preference panelist
ratings obtained in two replications per smoking time.

bAccording to a Duncan's Multiple Range test, mean ratings for
overall preference followed by the same symbol are not different
at the 0.05 level of significance.


Packaging and Storage

Routine packaging methods were used to prepare the finished LTS

fillets for frozen storage. Three to five pounds of fillets were










initially wrapped in freezer paper, then wrapped with aluminum foil.

The packages were placed on freezer shelves in single layers to assure

rapid cooling. The packages were noticeably hardened in less than eight

hours after e.. sure to the freezer temperature of -200F (-290C). The

packages remained frozen (-200F or -290C) until further testing. No

tests were conducted on packaging methods but subsequent tests were con-

ducted to determine the effect of prolonged frozen storage.


Cooking Method

To determine if there was a preferred method of final preparation,

the LTS fillets were fried in peanut oil for two minutes at 3500F

(1770C), broiled for six minutes in an electric oven, and baked in an

aluminum foil wrap for 20 minutes at 4500F (2320C). The fillets were

prepared by the standard production process using a four percent brine

and 1 hour smoke time at 1200F (490C). Fillets used for these tests

were not previously frozen. Panel preference for cooked samples were

rated on the same nine point scale (9 = excellent; 1 = extremely poor).

Panelists rated product aroma, color, texture, flavor, and overall

preference. The results (Table 3) indicated all three cooking methods

are acceptable. There was no significant difference in overall preference

for any one final product preparation, but the fried product was rated

the highest preference for color and flavor. Frying tended to darken the

product from a pale yellow to an attractive golden brown color. Continued

frying caused excessive browning. Broiling and baking caused a white,

gelatineous exudate to form on the surface. These proteinaceous substances

gave an objectionable product appearance.










Table 3.--Effect of cooking procedure on pinel preference for LTS
mullet fillets.


Cooking Method


Product Characteristics


Fried


Broiled


Baked


Mean Ratingsa

Aroma 7.1 6.5 7.0
Color 7.2 6.3 6.4
Texture 6.6 7.0 6.7
Flavor 7.4 6.7 7.0
Overall preference 7.1* 6.7* 7.0*


aRatings are based upon a preference scale where 9 = excellent and
1 = extremely poor. Mean ratings are based on 20 preference panelists
ratings obtained in two replications per cooking method.

bAccording to Duncan's Multiple Range test, mean ratings for overall
preference followed by the same symbol are not different at the
0.05 level of significance.










RECOMMENDED PRODUCTION PROCESS


Based on the product development work, the recommended basic pro-

duction process is outlined below. This process was developed utilizing

mullet fillets, but has been successfully used on fillets from grouper,

snapper, cod, and Spanish mackerel. Random check weighing for the various

species indicated the proper procedure should provide a product yield in

excess of 98 percent of the initial raw fillet weight.

It should be noted that this procedure has been developed using only

one particular smokehouse. Variations in thermal characteristics, air-

flow rates, and humidity control in different smokehouses could influence

the required smoking time and exact smoking temperature. Likewise, the

thickness of the fish fillet could influence the required brine concen-

tration and smoking time. Variations in the ratio of dark muscle to white

muscle tissue could affect product appearance and flavor. Production

procedures must be determined for respective types of smokehouses and

fish, but the recommended production process should serve as an approximate

starting method.


Brining

Clean fish fillets (skinless and boneless) are soaked in a prechilled

(400F or 450C) salt brine. The recommended salt concentration is four

percent (four cups salt per nine gallons water). The soak time should be

no less than 30 minutes. Occasional, gentle stirring will assist the soak-

ing process. After brining, the fillets should be washed with a light

rinse of clean water. The soaked fillets should be air dried on racks held

in refrigeration until a glaze-like pellicle develops on the surface. A

drying time of approximately 30 minutes has been found adequate.









Smoking

Racks of fillets should be placed in a preheated smokehouse. The

fillets should be smoked for 1 hours at 1.0 F (490C) in moderate smoke.

If humidity controls are available maintain a relative humidity of

approximately 60 percent. Smoking temperatures between 80 to 1200F

(270 to 490C) may be effective depending on the characteristics of

different smokehouses and fillet thicknesses. Air flow rates can be

adjusted to control dehydration of the product. The finished product is

not cooked, but has a pale yellow, damp appearance and the surface

flesh becomes firm.


Packaging and Storage

The LTS fillets must be store frozen at 00F (-200C) or below.

The fillets should be packaged layered with freezer paper and wrapped

in plastic bags. Avoid bulk packaging to permit a more rapid freeze.




Cooking

Thaw frozen fillets in refrigeration overnight; then fry, bake, or

broil as desired. Deep fat frying at 3500F (1770C) until golden brown

is an excellent cook method. Frying does not require batter or breading.









PRODUCTION WITH VARIOUS SPECIES


Application of the basic production process was determined for four

different fish species. These were grouper (Epinephelus sp.), snapper

(Lutjanus sp.), cod tails (Gadus morhua), and Spanish mackerel

(Scomberomorus maculatus). All fish fillets had been previously frozen

for at least one month. Only boneless, skinless fillets were.used from

each species. All raw fillet sizes were within a six to ten ounce range.

The fillets were thawed, then processed by the recommended basic process.

The finished products were fried by standard procedures then presented

to a 20 member preference panel for evaluations of aroma, color, texture,

flavor, and overall preference. Remaining fillets were packaged and

frozen for storage studies.

The panel results indicated there was essentially no difference in

the product characteristics for LTS fillets made from grouper, snapper,

or cod tails. No statistical tests were used to compare means, but there

was a higher overall preference for LTS mackerel fillets (Table 4). The

mackerel may have provided a better flavor and texture due to the higher

fat content. It is interesting to note that the overall preference for

these species was similar to that recorded for fried mullet fillets.














Table 4.--Sensory evaluations of LTS fillets prepared from various
fish species.




Fish Product Characteristics Overall
Species Preference
Aroma Color Texture Flavor


a
Mean Ratings

Spanish
Mackerel 7.8 7.8 7.6 8.1 8.2

Cod 7.1 7.6 7.1 6.9 7.0

Grouper 7.2 7.8 7.1 7.0 7.0

Snapper 6.9 7.3 6.8 7.2 6.9

Mulletb 7.1 7.2 6.6 7.4 7.1


aRatings are based on a 9.0 scale where 9 = excellent
poor. Mean ratings are based upon 20 observations.
tests were used to compare means.


and 1 = extremely
No statistical


bThe sensory evaluations for fried mullet are taken from Table 3
for the purpose of comparison.










STORAGE STUDIES


Storage studies were conducted to determine the influence of frozen

storage on the quality of LTS fillets. Panelists rated general preference

for LTS fillets prepared from whole, fresh mullet and whole mullet which

Shad been frozen (-200F or -290C) for six weeks. All LTS fillets were

fried at 350F (1770C) for two minutes prior to presentation to the

panelists. Half of the LTS fillets prepared from the whole, fresh mullet

were frozen (-200F or -290C) for two weeks prior to preference rating,

and the other half were cooked and rated immediately after production

or unfrozen. Likewise, the LTS fillets prepared from whole mullet which

had been previously frozen for six weeks prior to smoking were divided

into two groups, LTS fillets not frozen and LTS fillets frozen two weeks

before cooking and rating. This design allowed evaluations of the final

cooked product as influenced by previous frozen storage of the initial

raw carcass prior to smoking or frozen storage of the LTS fillets, and

combinations of the two storage treatments.

The results indicated six weeks frozen storage of whole mullet prior

to smoking did not have any apparent detrimental effect on final product

preference (Table 5). Likewise, two weeks frozen storage of the finished

product did not decrease product preference. Average product ratings in

all sensory categories were higher for the frozen products, but there was

no significant difference in overall general preference for the LTS fillets

which had never been frozen versus the frozen LTS fillets. These results

tend to indicate frozen storage of the initial raw carcasses and of the

finished product is not detrimental to production of the LTS fillets.









Table 5.--Effect of frozen storage on panel preference for fried LTS
mullet fillets.




Source of Fillets
Mullet Frozen
Fresh Mullet 6 Weeks

LTS Fillets LTS Fillets
Product Not Frozen Not Frozen
Characteristics Frozen 2 Weeks Refrozen 2 Weeks


Mean Ratings

Aroma 7.7 8.3 7.8 7.9
Color 7.6 8.4 8.3 8.2
Texture 8.0 8.1 7.9 7.6
Flavor 7.8 8.4 8.1 7.9
Overall
Preference 8.0* 8.3* 8.2* 8.1*



aRatings are based upon a scale where 9 = excellent and 1 = extremely
poor. Mean ratings are based on 20 preference panelists ratings ob-
tained in two replications per fillet type, frozen or unfrozen.

According to Duncan's Multiple Range test, mean ratings for overall
preference followed by the same symbol are not different at the
0.05 level of significance.




A second series of extended storage studies were conducted to deter-

mine the influence of long term frozen storage on LTS fillets. The fillets

were prepared as previously noted from grouper, snapper, cod tails, and

Spanish mackerel. The fillets were prepared by the recommended basic

process, then packaged and frozen for 30 and 90 days at -200F (-290C).

After storage, the fillets were thawed in refrigeration, then fried for

presentation to the preference panel. Panelists rated various sensory

characteristics on a 9.0 scale (9 = excellent; 1 = extremely poor).









There was a slight decrease in average overall preference after three

months of frozen storage, but the ratings were still judged to be accept-

able (Table 6). This slight decrease was due to lower ratings for texture

and flavor. Prolonged frozen storage had caused a slight increase in

product toughness and produced a slightly detectable off-flavor described

as initial rancidity. Product aroma and color was stable during frozen

storage. If the original smoked fillets had been prepared from fresher

fish fillets, the frozen storage life could have been extended. The

research results indicate that a frozen storage period of three to four

months is acceptable.









Table 6.--Sensory evaluations of influence of frozen storage on LTS
fillets prepared from various fish species




Storage Time (days)
Product
Characteristics Speciesa 0 30 90

Mean Ratingsb


Aroma


Color




Texture


7.5
7.1
7.1
6.4

7.9
7.1
7.8
6.7

7.9
6.0
7.2
6.9

8.3
6.7
7.2
6.8

8.3
6.5
7.1
6.6


Flavor


Overall Preference


7.5
6.6
5.7
6.0

7.7
6.6
6.0
6.2


aSM = Spanish mackerel; C = Cod tails;


Ratings are based on a
poor.


G = Grouper; S = Snapper


9.0 scale where 9 = excellent; 1 = extremely










CONSUMER SURVEY


A comprehensive market survey was designed to determine the market

potential for the LTS fillets. The basic objective was to assess con-

sumers' reactions to this new product form and to determine any necessary

product improvements. These results may encourage industry commerciali-

ation of the product, thereby expanding the processing and consumption

of Florida seafoods. A more complete description and analysis of the

market survey i. reported elsewhere3

Briefly, consumer test samples were LTS mullet fillets prepared

by the recommended basic process. Each cold smoked fillet had been

previously frozen for approximately one month. The fillets were thawed

at 40F (40C) and deep fat fried in peanut oil at 3500F (1770C) for

two minutes. The six ounce cooked fillets were cut into two ounce sam-

ples and presented warm to consumers. The fish species was not identi-

fied to the consumers. Face-to-face interviews were conducted immediately

after the consumers had sampled the test product. The interviews were

conducted by two independent marketing firms located in relatively large

shopping malls in Tampa and Jacksonville, Florida. At each location, the

firms supplied test kitchens for sample preparation and professionally

trained interviewers.

The principle investigators designed the questionnaires and monitored

the interview process. All consumers were prescreened to select those

that eat fish and those that were over 18 years of age. Consumers were

selected to assure an equal representation of sex, but there were no



3Degner, R. L., W. Steven Otwell, and John A. Koburger. 1980. Consumer
Acceptance of Low Temperature Smoked Fish Fillets, FAMRC Industry
Report 80-3. Food and Resource Economic Department, IFAS.









additional screening criteria. A total of 402 consumers were interviewed,

200 in Jacksonville and 202 in Tampa. The interview included twenty ques-

tions concerning product characteristics, suggested improvements, buying

intentions at various price levels, preferred package size, and species

identification. The entire interview required approximately five minutes.

Results from the consumer surveys indicated a very positive consumer

reaction to the test product. There were nc significant differences in

consumer responses from the two cities which enabled the combining of

responses for most analyses. Consumer ratings for the product character-

istics indicated that the test product had E. very high appeal (Table 7).

Consumers generally agreed that the product would be acceptable as a

family meal, as a special meal for friends, or as a restaurant item. The

overall rating for the LTS mullet fillets was significantly higher (7.9)

than that recorded for typical hot smoked fish (6.9) that the respondents

had previously eaten.

The mean ratings for the product color, flavors, and texture indicated

the consumer felt the final product was nearly 'just right' (Table 8).

Ninety-one percent of the consumers, identified as the 'primary family food

shopper', said they would buy the product if available (Table 9). The

preferred package size would be 12 to 16 ounces (Table 10). Over 50

percent of the primary food shoppers would be willing to substitute the

cold smoked fillets for currently available frozen fish fillets at least

1/3 to 1/2 of the time (Table 11).


~









Table 7.--Consumer ratings of characteristics of the test product and
previously eaten smoked fish.



Characteristics Both Citiesa Tampa Jacksonville

--------------Mean Rating------------

Smell 7.8 --- ----
Overall Taste 8.2 --- ---
Overall Appeal 7.9 --- ---
As a Family Meal ---- 7.4 8.0
As a Special Meal for Friends ---- 6.4 7.0
As a Restaurant Meal 6.6 --- ---
Rating of Previcusly Eater
Smoked Fishb 6.9 --- ---


aMeans are based on a rating scale where 10 = excellent and 0 = ex-
tremely pcort. Where only one mean is reported for both cities, a
t-test indicated that differences between cities were not statis-
tically significant at the 0.05 level.

A paired t-test indicates the difference between the overall appeal
rating and the rating given previously eaten smoked fish is statis-
tically significant at the 0.01 probability level, t = 5.49 with
319 degrees of freedom.








Table 8.--Consumer ratings of physical attributes of the smoked fish fillets.



Meana Standard Percent of b
Attribute value deviation respondents


Exterior color 2.6 0.6 ---
Much too dark ---- --- 2.2
Slightly too dark ----- ---- 33.1
Just right --- --- 63.2
Slightly too light ---- ---- 1.5
Much too light --- ----- 0.0
Total 100.0

Interior color 2.7 0.5 ---
Much too dark ----- ----- 1.2
Slightly too dark ----- ---- 30.9
Just right ---- ---- 66.7
Slightly too light ----- ----- 1.0
Much too light ----- ----- 0.3
Total 100.0

Smoked flavor 3.0 0.6 ---
Much too Smokeyy --- ---- 2.2
Slightly too Smokeyy" ---- ---- 7.7
Just right .---- -.-- 78.4
Not quite enough smoked flavor ---- ---- 11.7
Need much more smoked flavor ----- ----- 0.0
Total 100.0

Texture 2.8 0.5 ---
Much too tough ---- ----- 0.5
Slightly too tough ---- ----- 28.1
Just right --- ----- 69.2
Not quite tough enough --- --- 2.2
Need to be much tougher --- ---- 0.0
Total 100.0

Salt 2.9 0.6 ---
Much too salty ---- ---- 2.0
Slightly too salty --- ----- 16.9
Just right ---- ---- 65.9
Not quite enough salt ---- --- 14.9
Needs much more salt ----- ----- 0.3
Total 100.0


aMeans were calculated by assigning numerical values of 1-5, respectively,
to the semantic differential scales in the order listed. Thus, a mean of 3.0
would indicate a "just right" rating on each attribute. According to Chi-square
tests for each attribute there were no statistically significant differences in
ratings between the two cities. There was a total of 402 observations.

bTotal percentages may not sum to 100 percent due tc rounding.









Table 9.--Primary food shoppers' purchase intentions


Purchase intentionsa Number Percent


Yes, would buy i- available 171 91.0

No, would not buy 17 9.0

Totals 188 100.0


aChi-sqiare Enalysis indicates no statistically significant differ-
ence in purchase intentions by city, X2 = 0.90, with 1 degree of freedom.
Chi-square analysts for purchase intentions by age, income, race, or
household size were not statistically valid because of sparse numbers
of observations.








Table 10.--Primary food shoppers' preferred package sizes for frozen
fish fillets.



Preferred b
package size Number Percent


Ounces

8 28 16.4
12 38 22.2
16 63 36.8
32 21 12.3
48 10 5.9
Various 11 6.4
Totals 171 100.0


aWhen the 32 and 48 ounce package classifications are combined and
the "various" category eliminated, chi-square analysis indicates no
statistically significant difference in package size preferences between
cities, X2 : 2.73, with 3 degrees of freedom.

bThe "various" size category includes responses that ranged from
0.33 to 6 pounds.


for the test product.










Table 11.--Primary food shoppers' indicated substitution of the test
product for currently available frozen fish fillets.




Rate of
Substitution Tampa Jacksonville Both Cities

Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
100 7 9.1 23 25.3 30 17.9
75 8 10.4 11 12.1 19 11.3
33-50 39 50.7 46 50.6 85 50.6
20-25 23 29.9 11 12.1 34 20.2
Totals 77 100.0 91 100.0 168 100.0


aChi-square analysis indicates a statistically
between cities at the 0.01 probability level.
degrees of freedom.


significant difference
X = 12.74, with 3


bTotal percentages may not sum to 100 percent due to rounding.



The LTS fillets were also perceived as a desirable restaurant item

(Table 12). Over 68.5 percent of all the respondents expressed a will-

ingness to order the LTS fillets if available in restaurants. Responses

were categorized by their typical frequency for ordering regular fish

fillets. The responses indicated 78.3 percent of the frequent purchasers

of regular fish would order the LTS fillets, and more impressively, 55.7

percent of the respondents that were 'never' purchasers of regular fish

in restaurants would order the LTS fillets if available.










Table 12.--Respondents' intentions to order the test product if available
in restaurants, by current frequency of fish fillet orders.


Order intentions for test product
Current frequency of Number of Do not
fish fillet nrr-rs respondents Yes No know Totals


-------------Percent-------------

Never 61 55.7 36.1 8.2 100.0

Infrequently, less than
once per month 108 63.9 29.6 6.5 100.0

Frequently, one to three
times per month 175 78.3 16.6 5.1 100.0

Very frequently, once
per week or more 56 60.7 30.4 8.9 100.0

All respondents 400 68.5 25.0 6.5 100.0


Since mullet is often considered a low value fish, it was interesting

to note that 76.0 percent of all consumers could not identify the fish

species prepared as the test product (Table 13). In Tampa, where mullet

is a more commonly eaten fish, a significantly larger percentage of

consumers could identify the test product as mullet fillets. However,

the identification of the fish did not influence the overall product

ratings.









Table 13.--Respondents' ability tc correctly identify species from which
test products were made.



Response Tampa Jacksonville Both cities


Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent

Did not know
species 77 38.7 83 41.1 160 39.9

Correctly
identified
species 65 32.7 29 14.4 94 23.4

Incorrectly
identified
species 57 28.6 90 44.6 147 36.7

Totalsb 199 100.0 202 100.0 401 100.0


difference
21.40, with


Total percentages may not sam to 100 percent due to rounding.


aChi-square analysis indicates a statistically significant
in responses between cities at the 0.01 probability level, X2 =
2 degrees of freedom.










CONCLUSION


This report has provided the basic production process, expected

frozen storage life, and consumer evaluations of a new product form which

could increase the use of traditional and underutilized fish harvested

in Florida. Results indicate that the product could be produced with

existing processing facilities and the product form suits the basic re-

quirements for retail outlets, including most restaurants. The very

positive consumer acceptance should encourage industry exploitation.

Industry production of LTS fillets will require necessary process

modifications to assure volume production with quality control. This

report supplies the basic starting methods. Refinements in brining,

spice formulations, smoking, and packaging may be required to assure

company standards. At present, there is no one best method for produc-

tion of LTS fish fillets. Future production of these products will

depend on industry innovation.




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