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What is burnt meat syndrome or yake in Japanese?

The stress of capture makes bluefin tuna (and other animals) secrete lactic acid in the muscle, causing the meat to take on a metallic taste when consumed raw and accelerating the degradation process due to a pH drop.

This phenomenon is known as yake in Japanese, meaning “burnt meat syndrome.” It gives the meat an unpleasant metallic taste and a brownish colour. This quality is highly penalised, especially by Japanese markets.

 

 

Fish killed using the Ikejime method experience very little stress, which delays the onset of rigor mortis and prolongs their shelf life. When done correctly, it enhances the fish’s pink colour, makes the meat more succulent and allows the flesh to acquire an umami dimension.
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Ikejime Technique

The ikejime technique is a very hands-on, humane form of slaughter that is done individually by a team of experts and requires great precision. The tunas are chosen for their size, by customer demand. Divers enter the aquafarming facility and give the tuna a clean and accurate hit using a bang stick (a sawed-off underwater shotgun).

This minimises the stress signals that are sent out and prevents nervous spasms. Once slaughtered, the tuna is bled into the water by making two incisions where the blood flow is concentrated, promoting the generation of inosinic acid (flavour enhancer). The key to success is in being able to bleed the fish quickly so none of the stress hormones get into the muscles and make them overheat.

After 12 seconds, the fish is taken out of the water and then a sharp wire is pushed into the spinal cord to cleanly eviscerate the animal — preventing any parasites from passing to the muscles — and then soaked in ice water to lower their body temperature.

Certificates

AENOR has certified Balfegó for its good practices in the prevention of anisakis. Specifically, for our evisceration technique and for the periodic preventive analyses we perform using molecular biology techniques.
Anisakis iconCertified for good practices in anisakis prevention.

What are the benefits of our method?

Extends shelf life Maximum quality, texture and flavour Certification of good practices in anisakis prevention Reduces fish suffering
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