Photo: flickr/Kenta HayashiKnown for its refined flavors and highly scrutinized ingredients, baby food has certainly seen its share of critiques. But when it comes to salmon baby food, apparently the jury is still out as to the winning formula. But fear not! These Alaskan researchers are here to answer the question of whether or not adding salmon roe improves the flavor and/or texture of salmon baby food. It's a research paper that should be on the must-read list of every Portland parent.Effect of inclusion of salmon roe on characteristics of salmon baby food products. "Baby food was formulated from sockeye salmon (puree alone, puree + chunks, puree + pink row, puree + pink row + chunks, puree + red row, puree + red roe + chunks). In the 1st study, physical (pH, instrumental color, water activity) and descriptive sensory (odor, flavor, texture, visual color) characteristics were determined. Samples containing roe were lighter and less red (by approximately 3 to 4 a* units) than formulations without roe regardless of the type of roe added. Visual pink color followed the same trend. Formulations with roe, both pink and sockeye, were almost twice as fibrous as formulations without roe. Salmon flavor was stronger in samples containing roe from sockeye salmon. In the 2nd study, retort processed samples were stored at room temperature for 6 mo. Sweaty odor decreased over storage time. Visual cream-brown color correlated with L*, a*, b*, and chroma values (r =-0.80, 0.75, 0.80, and 0.84, respectively). TBARS values of all samples were < 0.35 mg MDA/kg and declined after month 0 indicating that these products were oxidatively stable. Overall, adding roe to these products lightened them and increased fibrous texture. Samples containing sockeye salmon roe had stronger salmon flavor. Once retort processed, these products were quite stable in terms of color, odor, and TBARS. Potential nutrient contributions of this type of product to the infant diet warrant additional research."
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