A texture measurement device was modified to measure the force required to pull pin bones from King salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), snapper (Pagrus auratus), and kahawai (Arripis trutta). Pulled bones were also subjected to tension to measure the breaking force. For all fish, the pulling force depended on the size of the fish, and on the length of the pin bone (P < 0.05). In general, larger fish required greater pulling force to remove pin bones. For example, fresh small salmon (about 1500 g whole) required 600 g on average to pull pin bones, and large fish (about 3700 g whole) required 850 g. Longer bones required greater pulling force. The breaking force followed the same trend. In general, the breaking force was greater than the pulling force. This allows the removal of the bones without breaking them. There was no statistically significant (P > 0.05) difference between the forces (both pulling and breaking) from fresh and frozen/thawed samples, although in general frozen/thawed samples required less force to pull. With the quantification of pulling and breaking forces for pin bones, it is possible to design and build better, "more intelligent" pin bone removal equipment.
Keywords: breaking force; kahawai; pin bone; pulling force; salmon; snapper.
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