Factors that determine the quality of bigeye tuna, caught in the western tropical Atlantic Ocean

Fatores que determinam a qualidade da albacora-bandolim, capturada no Oceano Atlântico oeste tropical

Tuna are highly prized in Oriental cuisine, and the bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus) is of great commercial importance. Quality is assessed by the tuna meat quality, freshness, texture and fat, which can be altered by factors inherent to capture, such as days of onboard storage, months of the year, whether the catch was living or dead, fish weight and year. These factors were correlated to identify those that affect quality. We obtained data from nine vessels, from January 2007 to April 2010, creating an information bank of 21,908 bigeye tuna. Fish quality and parameters were related using multiple linear regression analysis, in which the variables were included in the model by a stepwise procedure (F>4). We found that live catch, heavier fish and fewer days of storage positively affected the quality, and that there is a seasonality of quality related to biological factors, which are not amenable to control.

fishing; Thunnus obesus; tuna; sensory analysis

Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Escola de Veterinária Caixa Postal 567, 30123-970 Belo Horizonte MG - Brazil, Tel.: (55 31) 3409-2041, Tel.: (55 31) 3409-2042 - Belo Horizonte - MG - Brazil
E-mail: abmvz.artigo@abmvz.org.br