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Turkish Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 2016, Vol 16, Num, 4     (Pages: 753-758)

Humane Slaughter of Carp – A Comparison between Three Stunning Procedures

Aleksandra Daskalova 1 ,Alexander Pavlov 1 ,Ralica Kyuchukova 1 ,Hristo Daskalov 2

1 Department of Food Hygiene, Technology and Control, Veterinary Legislation and Management, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Trakia University, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
2 National Centre of Food Safety, NDRVI, 1606 Sofia, Bulgaria
DOI : 10.4194/1303-2712-v16_4_01 Viewed : 2046 - Downloaded : 2220 Fish welfare at slaughter is an area of considerable scientific and commercial importance during the last decade. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of three stunning procedures on stress and meat quality of common carp. The experimental fish were separated in three groups and stunned by percussion (Group PS), electricity (Group ES) or asphyxia (Group AS), followed by decapitation. Blood cortisol and glucose concentrations were measured as stress indicators, whereas drip loss was used as meat quality parameter. The lowest glucose concentration (3.86 ± 1.26 mmol/L) and drip loss (2.02 ± 0.42%) were observed in Group PS. On the contrary, Group AS showed the highest results (11.34 ± 3.07 mmol/L and 3.22 ± 0.75% for blood glucose and drip loss, respectively), whereas the electrically stunned carp took an intermediate position (6.05 ± 1.29 mmol/L and 2.29 ± 0.43%). We conclude that percussive stunning leads to considerable reduction of stress at slaughter and better meat quality (lower drip loss), whereas asphyxia is unacceptable method due to the strong stress reaction and increased drip loss. Electrical stunning can be an effective method for stunning carp, but requires improvements of the electrical device to eliminate the repeated current application. Keywords : Fish welfare, stunning methods, stress, drip loss