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Earthy-muddy tainting of cultured barramundi linked to geosmin in tropical northern Australia

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Jones, B., Fuller, S. C. and Carton, A. G. (2013) Earthy-muddy tainting of cultured barramundi linked to geosmin in tropical northern Australia. Aquaculture Environment Interactions, 3 (2). pp. 117-124. ISSN 1869-215X


Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/aei00056

Article URL: http://www.int-res.com/articles/aei2013/3/q003p117.pdf


Tainting of outdoor pond-reared barramundi Lates calcarifer by muddy-earthy off-flavours is frequently reported across tropical Australia. To investigate the possible causes and effects of off-flavour tainting, we analysed water samples from outdoor rearing ponds for the presence of geosmin (GSM) and 2-methylisoborneol (2-MIB), 2 microbial metabolites often associated with tainting episodes. We then conducted controlled dose-effect experiments which measured the accumulation of tainting metabolites in the flesh, and the impact tainting had on taste and flavour attributes. GSM was deemed to be the compound most likely responsible for off-flavour tainting, persisting at moderate (similar to 1.00 mu g l(-1)) to extreme levels (similar to 14.36 mu g l(-1)), while 2-MIB was never detected during the study. Controlled experiments revealed that the accumulation of GSM in the flesh of market-sized barramundi was directly related to GSM levels of the holding water (0 to similar to 4 mu g l(-1)), with higher levels resulting in significant increases in undesirable taste and flavour attributes, particularly muddy-earthy flavour and weedy aftertaste. We identified the sensory detection threshold for GSM in farmed barramundi to be <= 0.74 mu g kg(-1), similar to estimates for GSM detection in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss (similar to 0.9 mu g kg(-1)) and for 2-MIB in channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus (0.7 mu g kg(-1)). Quantitative estimation of flesh-bound GSM using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) agreed well with human sensory assessment scores and highlights the reliability of chemical analysis of GSM in barramundi flesh while also indicating the value of GC-MS analysis in predicting the impact of GSM on the sensory properties of farmed barramundi.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Crop and Food Science
Keywords:Aquaculture · Geosmin · Lates calcarifer · Barramundi · Flavour taint
Subjects:Aquaculture and Fisheries
Aquaculture and Fisheries > Aquaculture > Fish culture > Diseases and adverse factors
Live Archive:17 Sep 2013 05:17
Last Modified:09 Dec 2021 02:00

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