Most often "quality" refers to the aesthetic appearance and freshness or degree of spoilage which the fish has undergone. It may also involve safety aspects such as being free from harmful bacteria, parasites or chemicals. It is important to remember that "quality'' implies different things to different people and is a term which must be defined in association with an individual product type. For example, it is often thought that the best quality is found in fish which are consumed within the first few hours post mortem. However, very fresh fish which are in rigor mortis are difficult to fillet and skin and are often unsuitable for smoking. Thus, for the processor, slightly older fish which have passed through the rigor process are more desirable.
The methods for evaluation of fresh fish quality may be conveniently divided into two categories:
Sensory evaluation is defined as the scientific discipline used to evoke, measure, analyze and interpret reactions to characteristics of food as perceived through the senses of sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing.
Biochemical and chemical methods
The appeal of biochemical and chemical methods for the evaluation of fish quality is related to the ability to set quantitative standards. Biochemical/ chemical methods may best be used in resolving issues regarding products of marginal quality.
It has long been known that the electrical properties of skin and tissue change after death, and this has been expected to provide a means of measuring post mortem changes or degree of spoilage. pH of fish meat may give valuable information about its condition. Texture is an extremely important property of fish muscle, whether raw or cooked. Fish muscle may become tough as a result of frozen storage or soft and mushy as a result of autolytic degradation.
The aim of microbiological examinations of fish products is to evaluate the possible presence of bacteria or organisms of public health significance and to give an impression of the hygienic quality of the fish including temperature abuse and hygiene during handling and processing. Microbiological data will in general not give any information about eating quality and freshness.
Since the consumer is the ultimate judge of quality, most chemical or instrumental methods must be correlated with sensory evaluation before being used in the laboratory. However, sensory methods must be performed scientifically under carefully controlled conditions so that the effects of test environment, personal bias, etc., may be reduced.
Fish Quality Control Lab, Manawan is ISO 17025:2008 accredited Lab. Here Chemical tests and Microbial tests for Fish and Water Quality are performed. Lab is well equipped to check and maintain the Fish Quality as well as Water.