BACKGROUND: Shrimp paste is an important fermented commodity in the Philippines, but so far its quality parameters have hardly been characterized. In this study, paste samples procured in the province of Agusan del Norte, Philippines from three different traditional manufacturers and from a commercial supermarket were analyzed for their chemical composition.
RESULTS: Both traditional and commercial shrimp pastes varied in their content of protein (12.9-15.3 g per 100 g), fat (0.50-1.94 g per 100 g), saturated fatty acids (32.6-39.1 g per 100 g fatty acid methyl esters (FAME)), monounsaturated fatty acids (15.1-18.7 g per 100 g FAME) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (30.7-40.8 g per 100 g FAME). Their pH ranged between 6.8 and 7.7. The samples were microbiologically stable owing to their low water activity (0.70-0.74) and high NaCl content (4.04-5.15 g per 100 g). Although all samples were processed in the same country and under similar conditions, differences were observed in some parameters: thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (2.32-5.03 µg malondialdehyde g(-1) ), total non-protein nitrogen (3.07-5.15 g N per 100 g), free non-protein nitrogen (1.17-2.39 g N per 100 g), biogenic amines and mineral content. The biogenic amine index varied between 0 and 976 for the different samples; only one sample could be considered as class 1 quality.
CONCLUSION: The results showed that there is a high variation in the quality of the product which could be linked to differences in the fermentation process and hygienic quality. © 2015 Society of Chemical Industry.