Catfish is often consumed as a breaded and battered fried product; however, there is increasing interest in breaded and battered baked products as a healthier alternative. Par frying can improve the texture properties of breaded and battered baked products, but there are concerns about the increase in lipid uptake from par frying. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of different batters (rice, corn, and wheat) and the effect of par frying on the composition and texture properties of baked catfish. Catfish fillets were cut strips and then coated with batters, which had similar viscosities. Half of the strips were par fried in 177 °C vegetable oil for 1 min and the other half were not par fried. Samples were baked at 177 °C for 25 min. Analysis included % batter adhesion, cooking loss, protein, lipid, ash, and moisture, plus hardness and fracture quality measured using a texture analyzer. A trained sensory panel evaluated both breading and flesh texture attributes. Results found the lipid content of par fried treatments were significantly higher for both corn and wheat batters than for non-par fried treatments. Sensory analysis indicated that the texture of the coatings in the par fried treatments were significantly greater for hardness attributes. Fillet flakiness was significantly greater in the par fried treatments and corn-based batters had moister fillet strips compared to the wheat flour batters. Texture analyzer hardness values were higher for the par fried treatments.
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