Could fish super charge your snacks?

20 November 2019

20 November 2019

If you enjoy the flavour of your meat flavoured crisps, then you might be pleased to hear that not only could your fried snack taste of meat it could also deliver a protein hit as well, improving the nutritional value. 

Muriel Cozier

An international research team have looked at the possibility of improving the nutritional value of fried snacks by including fish meat. Their research is published in Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.

The acceptability of snack foods depends on several factors. Obviously flavour is key, but other criteria such as compactness of structure, cooking methods, processing conditions, starch-protein network and storage all impact acceptability by the consumer. Improvements in wheat flour-based snacks have been achieved by formulating the products with ingredients such as beef meat, corn starch and chicken meat.

Fish is a source of omega-3 fatty acids, and is nutritionally dense. The American Heart Foundation endorses a minimum consumption of two fish servings per week to protect from cardiovascular diseases. Fortifying snack foods with fish could be a solution to improving nutritional content.

Using waste from the processing of fish meat for human consumption has already been documented. For example the fortification of pasta with fish protein powder increased protein ash and lipid content.

Researchers found that the processing of grass carp fillets generated a considerable amount of waste which can be used for human consumption.  Studies on the use of this fish in human food are limited. The red fish meat was added in the snacks as a substitute for wheat flour at different levels. The prepared snacks were investigated for nutritional, physicochemical and micro-structural properties.

The raw ingredients were mixed and after preparation deep fried. The cooked snack was tested in a variety of ways including proximate chemical composition, colour analysis, scanning electron microscopy and sensory analysis.

Results showed that there was a significant increase in essential amino acids. However the researchers concluded that storage stability of the fried snacks meant that more research was needed before the product could be made commercially.

Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture: DOI:10.1002

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