Date of this Version
Alaska pollock (Theragra chalcogramma) is the U.S.A.’s largest commercial fishery, with an annual catch of over 1 million tons. During pollock processing, the skins are discarded ormade into fish meal, despite their value for gelatin production. The absence of gelatin-processing facilities in Alaska necessitates drying of the skins before transport to decrease the moisture content, but conventional hot-air drying is expensive. This study evaluated a less energy-intensive technology, the use of desiccants for reducing water weight in pollock skins prior to shipment. To ensure that the functional properties of gelatin obtained from dried pollock skins were not affected during desiccation, gelatins were prepared from each skin-drying treatment and compared with gelatin extracted from air-dried pollock skins. None of the desiccation treatments decreased the gel strength of pollock skin gelatin, nor were there major differences in gelling temperature or viscosity among the gelatin solutions. This suggests that pollock skins can be economically stabilized for transport to a gelatin-processing facility through the use of regenerable desiccants that are already common in the food industry.
Practical Application: Pollock skins destined for gelatin production can be stabilized using chemical desiccants prior to shipment. The dehydration process does not harmthe functional properties of gelatin, such as gel strength, gelling temperature, and viscosity. This research suggests that fish skins can be economically stabilized for transport to a gelatin-processing facility through the use of regenerable desiccants that are already common in the food industry.