When we taste tuna in each of its multiple culinary varieties, very few consumers realize the importance of the different stages of management that these fish go through from the moment of fishing to their gastronomic presentation on our menus. In the tuna, the different phases of management are of a very important repercussion in terms of their future quality. Any failure to handle it, however minimal it may be, will damage it in a considerable and irreversible way, deprecing it and even in some cases rendering it useless or preventing access to markets as demanding as Japanese, which usually pays high prices for them.
The handling of tuna and its organoleptic and sanitary quality.
The fat content, the coloration and the effects of stress during the capture of the animal determine the final quality of the tuna. The quality of the tuna depends on multiple factors, although it is those related to its capture and subsequent handling that determine that they reach the table in the best conditions. Any error in the process of quality assessment and subsequent classification can affect the behavior of a market considered risk by the sector.
It is from mid-May to the end of July when part of the fishing fleet is dedicated to the campaign of tuna in our coasts. Spain represents worldwide the second largest producer of tuna behind the largest consumer that is Japan with 14% of all catches. The red tunas whose weights oscillate between 50 and 200 kilos are going to be caught, handled and marketed in the different distribution centers. Especially markets like the Japanese or the North American are those that buy at a high price fresh tunas with certain organoleptic characteristics. Tokyo, in its central fish market in Tsukiji, Los Angeles, Boston or New York, are some of the main entry points for an important part of the tuna from our fishing establishments. In them pieces of a great weight are received and at the same time with certain parameters for the taste of the consumers of both countries.
From the bote to the table
The capture, handling and handling are essential processes to ensure the quality of the tuna. The transport is carried out in special refrigerated containers called "tuna" that are prepared for shipment by air to the countries of greatest consumption. All procedures from your fishing, transportation to the handling center and shipping by plane must be prepared and ready for any day and time of the season. The objective is that they arrive in the best conditions so that the consumer can taste such a peculiar, traditional and, of course, exquisite meat. But before bringing the tuna to the table, it is convenient to pay attention to the different stages of handling and handling. The first one starts with the fishing itself, which is done by traditional fishing rod one by one, without stress, through a system that comes from Japan patented with the name of GreenStick®. The tunas are located and pursued today through radar systems, bird detectors, helicopters, light aircraft or speedboats. They even search under the dolphins using state-of-the-art sonar devices, echo sounders, satellite navigators or meteorological facsimile receivers. The use of this arta, such as the GreenStick®, as well as the extensive catalog of technologies mentioned above, aim to optimize catches, made difficult not only by the size of these animals but also by their known migrations. Tuna are fish that reach up to 50 km. newspapers. In your fishing, it is important to highlight the hook, crucial and basic moment of your own capture. The professionalism and experience of the fishermen are essential elements since each tuna usually behaves in a different way.
Tuna fishing is the most dynamic and difficult to predict. The discovery of new fishing areas, the opening of new markets and the constant changes in prices characterize it as a challenge for fishermen and industrialists.
Every movement that is made from the boat by the sailors is key to avoid the loss of the fish, a poor handling can damage its commercial value.
For this reason, it is very important at the time of fishing and hooking to prevent bleeding and damage to areas of edible meat. Therefore, the bleeding should be performed at the lowest possible temperature and in the shortest time subjecting the animal to a salt water bath during the process. A correct bleeding, as occurs with slaughtered animals, prevents hot blood from coming into contact with the fat of the meat and produces a rapid rancidity that would remove it from the usual consumer market. In the same way, a bleed carried out in good conditions will make it easier for the classifiers to determine their quality more easily.
Stress and quality
Another factor that intervenes in a key way in its characteristics is the stress caused at the time of fishing, which is considered inversely proportional to its quality. The great effort made during the fight exhausts the reserves of energy stored in your muscles. Tuna is especially sensitive to these changes because it has a very high metabolic rate that is combined with the large amount of fat that has at the time of fishing and the high body temperature that usually exceeds 10ºC to the water that surrounds
Among the different biochemical reactions that occurred at that time include the production of lactic acid that is released moments before fishing and that will influence the texture, taste and storage.
Regardless of the organoleptic values, we must take into account aspects related to their sanitary quality that will irreversibly affect the management situations we are describing.
These inadequate and deficient manipulations described at the time of fishing together with the high body temperature at that time favors the production of muscle histidine which, together with bacterial proliferation, will determine the appearance of histamine that can cause clinical symptoms in the consumer of allergic type very annoying and dangerous. That is why at the time of fishing the tuna should be immediately subjected to a decrease in temperature to reach 7ºC as well as, subsequently, subject to a general cleaning to prevent both acids and internal enzymes of fish from making the same a product with a minimum commercial life in addition to being able to contain undesirable substances for the consumer.
These undesirable substances are characterized by a pungent taste or an unpleasant odor that can turn into symptomatology related to cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, thirst, swelling of the lips or burning in the throat. These metabolic changes related to the time of their fishing are evident even in the coloration of the meat. The tuna has a meat rich in red colors.
Warning: a poorly handled tuna has pale and opaque colors. Consume only fresh products and with a guaranteed quality certificate such as the Red Tuna of the JC Mackintosh Strait
The qualities of tuna
From the nutritional point of view, the tunas that reach the consumer's table represent an outstanding source of protein of high biological value, as well as an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. It has the advantage of having a low level of saturated fats and, on the contrary, a high percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids of the Omega3 type.
On the other hand, tunas, fish classified as species of high migration, represent a great common wealth for all the peoples that make up this world. For this reason, international tuna commissions that depend on FAO have been established, since their conservation through rational capture will ensure that this important source of food is used in the most optimal way by us and by future generations.