Better taste with crab feed
Just like its fellow species in the sea, the farmed cod is very fond of crab. And new tests show that crab in the feed can actually give farmed cod a better taste.
In the wild, crab and other crustaceans make up an important part of the cod's diet.
Recent tests at Fiskeriforskning's department in Bergen show that the farmed cod also appreciates common crab on its menu. And it can also give us even tastier cod on our dinner tables.
Vegetables give a "green" taste
The scientists wanted to test what effects mixing of different types and quantities of vegetable and marine raw materials in the feed have on farmed cod, and whether this affects the quality and taste of the fish.
Farmed cod can take on a "green" taste from vegetable ingredients in the feed, and in this test, the scientists used aquaculture feed made from so-called lupine meal, or meal based on peas.
Fishmeal in the feed was replaced with different quantities of lupine meal, and both lupine meal and powder from ground crab were added to one of the feeds before it was fed to the farmed cod. The fish was fed for 16 weeks and thereafter tested by sensory assessors at Fiskeriforskning's Sensory Laboratory.
Crab enhances the cod taste
The results showed that the cod that received feed with added crab powder both tasted and smelled better than the one that did not have crustaceans on its menu.
The lupine meal revealed a peculiar smell in the fish flesh which the sensory assessors described as burnt, scorched and sweet.
"It seems that the crab powder masked this smell and that the natural cod taste and smell were enhanced in the farmed cod that was fed crab", says Senior Scientist Sissel Albrektsen.
"It would be exciting to see whether crab powder can also affect the smell and taste with use of other vegetable ingredients in the feed, but we have to research this further before we can answer this question", says Albrektsen in closing.
The study is part of the efforts at Fiskeriforskning's department in Bergen to find new marine raw materials for use in feed for the aquaculture industry. The work is financed by Fiskeriforskning, Innovation Norway and Ewos Innovation.
For more information contact: Senior Scientist Sissel Albrektsen
Photos by Frank Gregersen, Fiskeriforskning