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Effects of microwave cooking on fish quality

Changes in tenderness, unit proteolytic activity, protein denaturation and fatty acid content of trout (Onchorhyncus mykiss) cooked in microwave oven for different time-power combinations were studied and the relationship between protein denaturation and textural changes was investigated. Trout was cooked in the microwave oven at 20, 40 and 60% powers for 10, 20, 30, 40 s. As a control uncooked fish was used. Proteolysis was controlled by using microwave energy. Texture degradation due to proteolytic enzymes was reduced as microwave power increased. As cooking time and/or power of the microwave oven increased, proteolytic activity decreased which was a sign of the increase in enzyme inactivation. A correlation was found between the variation of texture and proteolytic activity (r = 0.973). It was observed that proteolytic enzymes were effective especially on myosin. Most of the fatty acids were not destroyed during microwave cooking. The optimum cooking conditions in microwave oven were determined as 60% power for 20 s of cooking time.