Consistency and solubility changes in herring (Clupea harengus) light muscle homogenates as a function of pH
Journal article, 2003
Fish muscle proteins can be isolated from a variety of low-value raw materials by solubilization in either acid or base. If the consistency of the resulting solution is sufficiently low, it is possible to recover most of the solubilized proteins and remove most of the lipids by centrifugation. Lipid removal should greatly stabilize the isolated proteins. In a previous investigation into the use of herring for production of these protein isolates, it was observed that this species had particularly high consistency values when the proteins were solubilized. This study was undertaken to determine the consistencies obtained with herring light muscle tissue over the pH range covered by the two processes, from about pH 2.7 to 10.8. Protein solubility was compared to consistency of the resultant solutions. Maximum consistencies of the homogenates, ∼220 and ∼175 mPa·s, were obtained at pH values of approximately 3.5 and 10.5, respectively. Consistency began to increase approximately when solubilization began. Storage of homogenates at pH 2.7 decreased the consistency over a 10 min time period. The magnitude of the consistency peaks at both acid and alkaline pH values increased when using ice-stored as well as frozen-stored herring, especially in the acid range. Protein solubility at pH <4 and pH ≥10.8 slightly decreased after post-mortem storage of the herring muscle. It is suggested that the observed changes in consistency result from the expansion and solvation of protein aggregates which eventually dissociate into smaller units, perhaps even monomers.