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Journal of Food Security. 2020, 8(2), 52-65
DOI: 10.12691/jfs-8-2-3
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Characterizing Biometrics and Nutrient Profiles of Fillet and Offal Components to Better Utilize Harvests of Invasive Carp in the U.S.

Clay S. Ferguson1, David D. Kuhn1, , Brian R. Murphy2, Sean F. O’Keefe1, Quinton E. Phelps3 and Stephen A. Smith4

1Department of Food Science and Technology, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA

2Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA

3Department of Biology, Missouri State, Springfield, Missouri, USA

4Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA

Pub. Date: July 03, 2020

Cite this paper:
Clay S. Ferguson, David D. Kuhn, Brian R. Murphy, Sean F. O’Keefe, Quinton E. Phelps and Stephen A. Smith. Characterizing Biometrics and Nutrient Profiles of Fillet and Offal Components to Better Utilize Harvests of Invasive Carp in the U.S.. Journal of Food Security. 2020; 8(2):52-65. doi: 10.12691/jfs-8-2-3


The successful establishment of fisheries for invasive Asian carp (AC) would help alleviate the ecological, societal, and economic bane they impose on natural U.S. waterways, all while supplementing domestic fisheries and addressing food insecurity in high-stress regions. However, fishers of AC and the post-harvest industries lack the economic resiliency needed to self-sustain operations. Providing detailed nutrient compositions and biometric yields of edible and inedible components would strengthen consumer demands and grow supplemental product-revenue streams, all supporting commercial fisheries removal of AC. To incentivize capture and utilization of silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix), the most abundant of the invasive AC, we addressed this dearth in the literature by characterizing yields and composition of silver carp fillets and offal components (edible portions: head, frame, and trimmings) (non-edible portion: viscera). Mature silver carp collected in late June from the Ohio River (Kentucky, U.S.) were separated into major components, characterized for yields, and then evaluated across length, gender, and body condition to identify trends in biometric data. Detailed nutrient parameters were then characterized for all components. Comparatively low fillet yields (< 20%) whole-weight (w/w) and high offal-component yields of heads (35.8%), frames (23.0%), and trimmings (17.1%) w/w obtained from this post-spawn sample signify ramifications of seasonal harvest and the importance of by-product utilization. Boneless fillets produced the highest proportions of crude protein (93% dry-matter basis), essential amino acids (lysine 8.0% and leucine 6.9% of crude protein), omega-3 fatty acids (18.2% of total lipids), and several important macro minerals. Still, all edible and offal components produced attractive omega-6:omega-3 (< 1.0), which is consistent with nutrient-rich marine finfish. Findings from this study provide information that can be used to increase domestic-consumptive demand and improve the economic resiliency of commercial fisheries charged with controlling the bio-invasion of AC.

silver carp commercial fisheries resource recovery food security

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