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Med. Weter. 72 (2), 102-109, 2016

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Chwastowska-Siwiecka I., Skiepko N., Pomianowski J.F., Kondratowicz J.
Morphometric measurements and assessments of the quality of the meat of African catfish (Clarias gariepinus)
The aim of the study was to conduct a morphometric assessment of African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) and the characteristics of the quality of the obtained meat. The experimental material consisted of 14 pieces of randomly selected catfish weighing about 1 kg and aged <1 year. Feeding the fish was carried out manually with granulated feed. The weight of the catfish, the total length, body length and side of the head, the height of the head, the smallest and the largest height and width of the body were determined before its killing. After pretreatment consisting of fish that were eviscerated, beheaded, filleted and had their fins removed, various parts of the body were weighed using an electronic balance. The material studied consisted of 14 chilled fillets (left), which was forwarded for laboratory analysis to determine the chemical composition, physicochemical properties and characteristics of the color parameters. On the basis of results it was demonstrated that the total length of the fish, body length, head height and width of the body of catfish aged <1 year was respectively 53.46, 46.82, 5.34 and 7.01 cm. There has been a high technological yield in the form of meat carcasses (69.95%) and filets without skin (42.69%). Samples of fillets were characterized by a fairly large proportion of protein (17.35%) and a relatively high fat content (5.32%), together with a low caloric value (491.20 kJ). Total collagen content was 0.94 mg/g, and the TBARS value was at the level of 0.28 mg MDA/kg of meat. In terms of the physicochemical properties catfish meat was characterized by normal acidity, high tenderness, low natural drip and thermal losses, as well as water-holding capacity at the level of 7.96 cm2. Highly significant differences have been found in color parameters of fillets such as: L*, a*, b* and hº and analyzed from the stomach and with the skin removed. It has been shown that darker (L*= 41.91) and more intensely red (a*= 15.52) fillets were from the external surface of this species of fish.
Key words: African catfish, morphometric measurements, quality of meat