In the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) aquaculture industry, gaping (the separation of muscle bundles from the connective tissue) is a major quality problem. This study characterized chondroitin sulfate (CS) and heparan sulfate (HS) in the connective tissue of intact and gaping salmon fillets from 30 salmon by mass spectrometry. Statistical difference was detected between gaping and intact tissues only when comparing pairwise samples from the same individual (n = 10). The gaping tissue had a lower content of monosulfated CS disaccharides (p = 0.027), and the relative distribution of CS disaccharides was significantly different (p < 0.05). The HS chains were short (average = 14.09, SD = 4.91), and the intact tissue seemed to have a more uniform HS chain structure compared to the gaping tissue. Time-series samples from the same individuals are recommended for future research to improve the understanding of reasons and implications of these differences.
- Farmed Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar)