Carbon monoxide stunning of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) modifies rigor mortis and sensory traits as revealed by NIRS and other instruments

Anna Concollato, Giuliana Parisi, Giorgio Masoero, Robert Romvàri, Rolf Erik Olsen, Antonella Dalle Zotte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Methods of stunning used in salmon slaughter are still the subject of research. Fish quality can be influenced by pre-, ante- and post-mortem conditions, including handling before slaughter, slaughter methods and storage conditions. Carbon monoxide (CO) is known to improve colour stability in red muscle and to reduce microbial growth and lipid oxidation in live fish exposed to CO. Quality differences in Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L., stunned by CO or percussion, were evaluated and compared by different techniques [near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS), electronic nose (EN), electronic tongue (ET)] and sensory analysis.

RESULTS: Thawed samples, freeze-dried preparates and NIRS devices proved to be the most efficient combinations for discriminating the treatments applied to salmon, i.e. first the stunning methods adopted, then the back-prediction of the maximum time to reach rigor mortis and finally to correlate some sensory attributes. A trained panel found significant differences between control and CO-stunned salmon: reduced tactile crumbliness, reduced odour and aroma intensities, and reduced tenderness of CO-treated fillets. CO stunning reduced radiation absorbance in spectra of thawed and freeze-dried fillets, but not fillet samples stored in ethanol, where it may have interacted with myoglobin and myosin.

CONCLUSIONS: The good results in a rapid discrimination of thawed samples detected by NIRS suggest suitable applications in the fish industry. CO treatment could mitigate sensory perception, but consumer tests are needed to confirm our findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3524-3535
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2016


  • NIRS
  • Salmo salar L
  • carbon monoxide stunning
  • electronic nose
  • electronic tongue
  • fillet sample preparation
  • rigor mortis
  • sensory scores

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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