The objective of this study was to assess neural and behavioural responses in farmed African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) upon electrical stunning in combination with decapitation or chilling. To assess the possibility of scaling up one or both experimental methods, two trials were performed in an experimental setting. The product quality of the collected samples was compared with the currently applied industrial method: live chilling. After electrical stunning in combination with decapitation, the fish showed spikes alternated with theta and delta waves on the EEG, followed by minimal brain activity after 20±10 s. The same traces on the EEGs were observed after electrical stunning in combination with chilling. Here, minimal brain activity occurred after 22±11 s. Within a confidence level of 95%, the percentage of African catfish that was effectively stunned after administration of an electrical current of 1.5 A dm−2, 300 V (50 Hz a.c.), followed by decapitation or chilling was above 91%. The analysis yield and evolution of liquid loss showed significant (P<0.05) differences among the batches, which could be explained by the stunning method used. The course values of the pH in the different batches were significantly (P<0.05) dependent on the stunning method, sex and location (visceral or skin side). It is concluded that African catfish can be stunned effectively using electrical stunning in a water tank, followed by decapitation or chilling in ice. Dutch commercial processors prefer to combine electrical stunning with chilling in flake ice in a rotating tumbler, as the outer slime layer is then removed, which facilitates further processing.
Aquaculture Research – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2006
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