Phosphate treatment of light and heavy salted cod products

Phosphate treatment of light and heavy salted cod products


Ingebrigt Bjørkevoll, Kristine Kvangarsnes, Leif Akse, Rodrigo Reboredo, Torbjørn Tobiassen, Trygg Barnung


Møreforsking Marine


The Norwegian Seafood Research Fund

Report nr:

MA 12-15



Publication type:


Page number:


Project activities have been divided in a previous small scale trial, and a large scale trial with industrial production of salted cod. Analytical and sensorial evaluations have been carried out on the final products and after chilled storage. Both light and heavy salted products, and different salted cod production methods, were studied. The raw material presented large variability in quality which in addition to analytical uncertainty contributed to difficulties in interpretation some of the results.


Pre-salting steps represented by injection of phosphates solubilized in brine were the most effective method for the absorption of phosphates and better yield gains were obtained. The quality of the fish seems also to be improved in some cases, but more studies need to be carried out. All the obtained improvements in salted cod quality comply with the present legislation phosphate threshold. It has also been confirmed that important levels of natural phosphorus is lost during salting processes.


The effectiveness of phosphate additives in the reduction of the fish oxidation and stabilizing color has been rather diffuse. No induced metal chelation was detected in the experiments and sensorial evaluation showed contradictory patterns in some of the trial results. However, positive results were obtained in light salting. Further research is needed in testing the effects of phosphates in varying cod quality during large scale production.