Effects of starvation and water quality on the purging process of farmed Murray cod (Maccullochella peelii peelii)

Giorgio Palmieri, Giovanni Turchini, Russell Keast, Philip Marriott, Paul Morrison, Sena De Silva

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The aim of this study was to determine the effects of starvation and water quality during the purging process on the biometric parameters, fatty acids, and flavor volatiles of Murray cod farmed in a recirculation system. Market size Murray cod, at the end of the grow-out stage, were divided into eight treatments. The treatments were either fed/starved (F or S) and kept in clean water (CW: CWF2, CWS2, CWF4, and CWS4) or fed/starved and kept in recycled water (RW: RWF2, RWS2, RWF4, and RWS4) for either 2 or 4 weeks. Fish were sampled at 0, 2, and 4 week intervals. Food deprivation was responsible for a significant (P <0.05) weight loss compared to that of fed treatments. The same was observed for the condition factor (K), hepatosomatic index (HSI), and dress-out percentage (DP). No significant changes were, however, observed in the visceral fat index (VFI). Saturated fatty acids (SFA) were highest in RWF4 and lowest in CWS4 (P <0.05), while monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) were lowest in CWF4 (P <0.05). Starvation did not affect the flavor volatile compounds, which were mainly affected by changes in water quality. Specifically, total aldehyde ( w/w) content was significantly (P <0.05) affected by water quality, but the time of purging was not responsible for any noteworthy differences. This study was able to separate the effects of starvation and water quality, in the purging process, on the final eating quality of farmed market size Murray cod. It is concluded that because of the inevitable weight loss during starvation, Murray cod should be fed during the purging stage but kept in clean water and deprived of food only for the time necessary to empty the gastro-intestinal tract.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9037 - 9045
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

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