Inhibition of post-mortem fish muscle softening and degradation using legume seed proteinase inhibitors

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Inhibitors that control muscle softening are important for regulating the activities of specific proteinases in meat. Proteolytic activity of endogenous proteinases in postmortem fish leads to the deterioration of myofibres. Calpain proteolytic enzyme system in skeletal muscles is mainly responsible for the post-mortem proteolysis. Soluble sarcoplasmic serine proteinase and the insoluble myofibrillar serine proteinase fractions contribute to the modori effects in surimi gels while myosin heavy chains contribute to gel strength. Proteolytic degenerative processes negatively affect the entire quality spectrum of the fish as food. Legume seeds are a good source of proteinase inhibitors with the potential to emerge as a promising tool in fish meat quality management. Many workers have studied the potent inhibitory effect of the seed flour from various legume crops on the flesh, surimi gels and visceral proteinases of fishes. The present review provides collective information about proteolysis in fish and its control by using legume seed flour as a natural source of proteinase inhibitors. Use of legume seed flour can reduce the dependence of the meat processing industry on the non-renewable synthetic chemical agents. Moreover, the use of natural products from sustainable resources also leads to the improved economics of meat production.

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Correspondence to Balwinder Singh.

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Singh, J., Singh, B. Inhibition of post-mortem fish muscle softening and degradation using legume seed proteinase inhibitors. J Food Sci Technol 57, 1–11 (2020) doi:10.1007/s13197-019-04044-6

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  • Proteolytic inhibitors
  • Softening
  • Legume seeds
  • Endogenous proteases