Food Structure

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The texture of restructured muscle products is well known to be strongly affected by various salts. In the present work the effects of NaCl and CaCl2 on the ultrastructure of both fresh and cooking salted silvercarp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) muscle were examined, in order to elucidate the heat-initiated binding phenomenon. Sodium chloride at 0.3 and 1.5% caused swelling and fusion of the myofibrils and loss of arrayed structure. Calcium chloride at all the tested concentrations resulted in shrinkage of myofibrils, The present study demonstrated two main effects of salts on the ultrastructure of fish muscles: (i) swelling of myofibrils which, at relatively high NaCl concentrations (1.5%) resulted in conversion of the arrayed structure of the myofibriles into a homogeneous and amorphous mass, and (ii) shrinkage of myofibrils, which may result in compact and denser appearance of filaments within myofibrils and their shortening. The textural changes which resulted from the different salt treatments are explained by these findings.

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