Comparison of body composition and sensory quality of wild and farmed whitefish (Coregonus macrophthalmus [Nüsslin, 1882])

S. E. Goebel, J. Gaye-Siessegger, J. Baer, J. Geist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This study compared the body composition (fillet yield, chemical composition and lipid quality of fillets) and sensory quality of captured wild (by gillnet in August 2011) with experimentally raised farmed (reared in concrete flow-through raceways, average water temperature 10 ± 3°C) whitefish, Coregonus macrophthalmus, from Lake Constance. The study was conducted in 2011 using 28 wild and 24 farmed market-sized fish of approximately equal total lengths (25.1 ± 1.21 and 25.6 ± 1.28 cm). Farmed female Coregonus macrophthalmus exhibited a 3.3% lower fillet yield resulting from larger gonads and a shallower body shape. The protein contents of farmed and wild fillets were equal (17.5% vs. 17.4%), but farmed fish fillets contained less moisture (76.1% vs.77.4%), less ash (1.2% vs. 1.6%), and more lipid (5.1% vs. 4.1%) than wild-caught specimens. Levels of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) were higher in farmed fish (42.0 vs. 31.0 g/100 g lipid), as well as the levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA; 26.0 vs. 19.7 g/100 g lipid), in particular 22:6n−3 (docosahexaenoic acid, DHA; 7.3 vs. 2.1 g/100 g lipid). Conversely, wild fish fillets contained significantly more 20:4n−6 (arachidonic acid, AA; 1.6 vs. 0.4 g/100 g lipid) and 20:5n−3 (eicosapentaenoic acid, EPA; 4.1 vs. 3.2 g/100 g lipid). Sensory evaluation of odour, colour, texture and flavour by an experienced six-person panel revealed a significant preference for the colour (79% vs. 21%) of farmed fish fillets. In conclusion, farmed whitefish can be strong competitors to wild whitefish in terms of product quality, with higher levels of healthy fatty acids and a more attractive fillet colour. Farmed Coregonus macrophthalmus thus represents a promising and pragmatic approach, compensating for the current capture decline in the whitefish fisheries of Lake Constance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-373
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Ichthyology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2017


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