Pomegranate sauce offers marinade potential for industry

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Fatty acid

Marinating anchovies in pomegranate juice may extend the shelf-life
of the fish, and positively enhance the flavour and aroma profile,
suggests new research from Turkey.

Only 16 per cent of proteins in the fish degraded over three months of storage when marinated in pomegranate sauce, while marinating in sunflower oil led to increases of 83 per cent during the same time period, report the researchers in the journal LWT - Food Science and Technology​. "Fish marinades have limited shelf life and methods to prolong their shelf life will be useful for industry,"​ wrote the researchers from Akdeniz University. "The present study clearly demonstrated that pomegranate juice concentrate affected quality and shelf life of marinated fish. It also produced a special taste with combination of sweet and sour tastes in marinated fish but the coloration should be investigated in further studies." ​ In a recent report from Mintel stated that the US marinade market presented opportunities for manufacturers: "Given the renewed focus on healthful eating among consumers, easy and healthy marinades for vegetables could be very well received in the marketplace. Further, given consumers interesting in new flavours and ethnic foods, the category could achieve a great deal through flavour innovations,"​ stated the report. Tapping into these opportunities could be the use of pomegranate sauce as a marinade for fish. Pomegranate, known as the royal fruit because of the 'crown' on top, is a rich source of antioxidants. It is these antioxidants, and particularly ellagitannin compounds like punicalagins and punicalins, which accounts for about half of the fruit's antioxidant ability, that are reportedly behind the proposed health benefits. Health benefits of fruit have ranged from protection from prostate cancer, to slowing cartilage loss in arthritis, and potentially preventing Alzheimer's. Tasting the potential ​ The Turkish researchers used anchovies treated first with salt and vinegar and then stored at four degrees Celsius in jars containing either sunflower oil or pomegranate sauce. They report that the pomegranate sauce-marinated fish had lower levels of free fatty acid (FFA), compared to fish stored in the sunflower oil. "The presence of free fatty acids (FFA) is due to hydrolysis of lipids and is undesirable since the fatty acids may be converted to odorous volatiles... These compounds are responsible for off-flavour and off-odour and taste of fish,"​ explained the authors. Moreover, the pomegranate sauce samples exhibited better oxidative stability than the sunflower oil samples. While storage and antioxidant values are very important, the impact of the marinade on taste and flavour is key to consumer acceptance. The researchers report improvements in the taste and flavour of the pomegranate-marinated fish with a team of panellists scoring the products. "Pomegranate sauce also produced desirable taste and flavour in marinated anchovy,"​ they added. On the flip side, the researchers noted that the panellists scored the appearance of the pomegranate-marinated fish lower than the sunflower-marinated fish. Exploiting the antioxidant profile of pomegranate for functional rather than health purposes is not new. Researchers from Pakistan, for example, recently reported that extracts from pomegranate peel may stabilise sunflower oil and protect it form deterioration associated with heating. The extract was found to be just as efficient as the legal limit of the synthetic antioxidant butylhydroxytoluene (BHT) at a concentration of between 800 and 850 ppm, report the researchers from the University of Sargodha (Food Research International, doi:10.1016/j.foodres.2007.11.005)). Source: LWT - Food Science and Technology​ Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.lwt.2008.04.007 "Effects of pomegranate sauce on quality of marinated anchovy during refrigerated storage" ​Authors: N. Gokoglu, O.K. Topuz, P. Yerlikaya

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