Morpho-physiological characteristics, slaughter yield and meat quality of Paddlefish (Polyodon spathula, Walbaum 1792)

Lyudmila Nikolova1, Magdalena Stoyanova2
1 Department of Animal Sciences, Agricultural University, 4000 Plovdiv, Bulgaria
2 Department of Analytical Chemistry and Physicochemistry, University of Food Technologies, 4000 Plovdiv, Bulgaria


Nikolova, L. & Stoyanova, M. (2022). Morpho-physiological characteristics, slaughter yield and meat quality of Paddlefish (Polyodon spathula, Walbaum 1792). Bulg. J. Agri. Sci., 28, (Supplement), 154–163

The study was carried out on five-summer old paddlefish, reared in a full-scale carp pond. Paddlefish diet was based on natural food in the pond, and the forage was planned only for carp. The results showed that paddlefish, cultivated in a complex polyculture, showed good slaughter performance and meat quality. Slaughter yield was over 82% and the relative share of the fillet with skin to the whole fish and to the eviscerated carcass was 49.42% and 87.26%, respectively. The mean value of Fulton’s coefficient was 2.27, which shows that the applied technology of polyculture fish rearing provides very good conditions for paddlefish. The results obtained give reason to classify paddlefish as fat protein fish. The meat was rich in protein (16.23%) and fat (14.98%), it contains 1.02% mineral substances and over 32% dry matter. The total energy content of meat was 983.35 kJ.100-1 g and the protein-based energy reached 39.45%. Paddlefish meat was rich in essential amino acids. Calculation of the AA score showed that two amino acids – valine and leucine exhibited results up to 100%. The other results for the amino acid score were over 100%. Lysine score was the highest in the paddlefish meat sample. The highest value obtained for the non-essential amino acids was that of aspartic acid. The saturated fatty acids (SFAs) accounted for 31.26% of total fatty acids; monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) – 47.46% and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) – 21.28%. In paddlefish meat, unsaturated fatty acids (UFAs) were most abundant, with straight chain formed by 16–22 carbon atoms. Three forms of vitamin E (α-T, γ-T and δ-T) were detected in the paddlefish meat sample. Alpha-tocopherol was the major tocopherol in our study (93%). The relative share of γ- and δ-tocopherols was 2 and 5%, respectively.

Keywords:  polyculture, morphometric measures, exterior indices, Fulton’s coefficient, protein, amino acids, fatty acids, tocopherols

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