Deakin University

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Biometric, nutritional and organoleptic changes in intensively farmed Murray Cod (Maccullochella peelii peelii) purged for different time periods

conference contribution
posted on 2006-01-01, 00:00 authored by Giorgio Palmeri, Giovanni Turchini, Russell KeastRussell Keast, V Moretti, S De Silva
A period of purging before harvesting is common practice in intensive aquaculture to eliminate any possible off flavours from the fish. The present study was conducted to evaluate the biometrical, nutritional and sensory changes in intensively farmed Murray cod (Maccullochella peelii peelii) after 0, 2 and 4 weeks of purging. After the main biometric parameters were recorded, fish were analysed for proximate, fatty acid composition and flavour volatile compounds. A consumer preference test (triangle test) was also conducted to identify sensorial differences that may affect the consumer acceptability of the product.

Fish purged for 2 and 4 weeks had a significant weight loss of 4.1% and 9.1%, respectively, compared to unpurged fish, whilst perivisceral fat content did not change. The concentration of saturated (SFA), monounsaturated (MUFA) and highly unsaturated (HUFA) fatty acids were not significantly affected by purging time, while polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), n − 3 and n − 3 HUFA were significantly higher (P < 0.05) in purged fish compared to unpurged fish. Consumers were able to detect differences between the purged and unpurged fish (P < 0.05) preferring the taste of the purged fish. However, consumers were unable to distinguish between fish purged for 2 and 4 weeks.

This study showed that a 2 weeks purging period was necessary and sufficient to ameliorate the final organoleptic quality of farmed Murray cod. With such a strategy the nutritional qualities of edible flesh are improved while the unavoidable body weight loss is limited.



Australasian Aquaculture Conference


Australian Aquaculture


Adelaide, Australia

Place of publication


Start date


End date







Available online 22 October 2007.

Publication classification

E1.1 Full written paper - refereed

Copyright notice

2007 Elsevier

Title of proceedings

Innovation In Aquaculture: Abstracts Book: Skretting Australasian Aquaculture Conference