Rheological and chemical characterization of fish proteins and their interaction with functional ingredients and/or physicochemical components from surimi production to utilization including pasteurization.  A number of grants and gifts from private industry (surimi, surimi seafood, and ingredients) enabled me to conduct these studies.


Development of advanced processing techniques (i.e., ohmic heating) has been accomplished with financial support from the Sea Grant.  Ohmic heating was proven to be a new method for the better utilization of Pacific whiting surimi without enzyme inhibitors. This study has led the U.S. surimi seafood industry to use Pacific whiting surimi without the use of enzyme inhibitor, which has contributed a significant saving to the industry.  Recent approaches with ohmic heating are the study of heating rate effects on gelation, gelation kinetics, and pasteurization of seafood.  Through an USDA grant on radio frequency, Debye resonances of polar food molecules targeted for uniform capacitive heating was investigated.


Study on the recovery of proteins from surimi processing by-products (seafood wastes), funded by state and federal agencies, has shown a new way to control seafood processing waste.  The recent approaches to this area also cover the minimization of the solubility of myofibrillar proteins at various biochemical and physical conditions.  In addition, the study to upgrade surimi processing waste to foods (fish sauce, gelatin) through fermentation and enzymatic degradation was conducted primarily with the Sea Grant's support.  Fish sauce research has become a major field along with surimi and surimi seafood research.  Characterization and utilization of refiner discharge (surimi processing by-product) into gelatin has been launched in 2003.  This research extends to development of natural antioxidant through enzymatic degradation of collagen.


Acid and alkali-aided recovery of fish proteins:  Unlike a conventional surimi processing method, this method induces denaturation followed by refolding using a pH shift and protein is recovered using isoelectrical centrifugation.  Through keeping sarcoplasmic proteins, which is removed in conventional surimi processing, the recovery rate can reach over 35%.