Stabilization of Proteins in Surimi
The aggregation of surimi proteins at any time prior to thermal processing will reduce the subsequent ability of these proteins to gel properly. Premature aggregation can occur routinely during leaching, dewatering, freezing, and especially frozen storage of surimi at commercial temperatures (e.g., −18°C). Although, it is technically feasible to store sh for extended periods at low freezer temperatures without signicant loss of gel-forming ability, to date, it has been more economical to mix cryoprotectant additives with the surimi prior to freezing. These cryoprotectants, when mixed intimately with the surimi proteins, reduce denaturation and aggregation. Cryoprotective compounds also stabilize sh proteins during drying and there is continuing interest in developing functional surimi powders to enable shipping at ambient temperatures and for development of new surimi applications.