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Musty/earthy off- fl avor in aquatic animals: impact, causes, and
Pornpimol Pimolrat*, Niwooti Whangchai, Chanagun Chitmanat and Louis Lebel
Faculty of Fisheries Technology and Aquatic Resources, Maejo University
Unit for Social and Environmental Research, Chiang Mai University
Musty/earthy off- fl avor in aquatic animals has been reported in aquatic organism worldwide. Although
there is no negative effect on human health, it causes an unacceptablefor consumer consumption. The purpose
of this article is to review some of the available literature relating tomusty/earthy off- fl avor in aquatic animals.
Geosmin (GSM) and 2-methylisoborneol (MIB) are two major off- fl avor compounds.These compounds are caused
by metabolites produced by blue-green algae including Anabaena sp., Oscillatoria sp., Lyngbya sp., Symploca sp.,
Phormidium sp., andAphanizomenonsp. and some bacteria such as Streptomyces. Fish with high fat content or
raised in earthen ponds with enriched algae and bacteria mentioned earlier increase in risk of off- fl avor problem.
The in fl uences of temperature, season, and climate change had been also discussed.Finally, the various practical methods for undesirable fl avor were described. This information will be bene fi cial for fi sh farmers to control an
off- fl avor problem.
Keywords: off- flavor, aquatic animal, blue-green algae, cause, solution