Stability of snacks made with minced Nile tilapia stored at room temperature

ABSTRACT Minced fish can be used in the preparation of fish products, despite being very susceptible to lipid oxidation and microbial growth. Fish snacks are widely appreciated in Asian countries, but still little studied in Brazil. Thus, the aim of this study was to produce snacks containing 20, 30, and 40% minced fish of Nile tilapia filleting waste and evaluate their stability at time zero and throughout 15, 30, and 45 days of storage at room temperature (25 ºC) by physicochemical, microbiological, and sensory characterization. The inclusion of minced fish decreased (P <0.05) the volatile nitrogenous base levels (0.71 to 0.56 mg N.100g-1) and increased pH (5.45 to 5.90) of the snacks. An increase (P <0.05) in lipid oxidation (1.10 to 2.03 mg. malonaldehyde. kg-1) and pH (5.57 to 5.73) was observed during storage. Lower microbial counts were observed, which were within the limit allowed by the Brazilian legislation. Sensory acceptance of the attributes flavor, color, texture, global acceptance, and purchase intent of the snacks decreased with increasing the inclusion of minced fish, but remained with scores above 5, which is equivalent to “not liked nor disliked”. During 45 days of storage, the sensory properties of the snacks remained stable with good acceptance scores. Therefore, fish snacks can be made with the addition of 20 to 40% of minced fish of Nile tilapia filleting waste without compromising their sensory acceptance and physicochemical and microbiological stability during 45 days of storage at 25 ºC.