Seasonal variations of chemical constituents in the muscle and viscera of small abalone fed different diets
The seasonal changes in levels of chemical constituents in the muscle and viscera of small abalone Haliotis diversicolor fed gracilar and an artificial diet were investigated. Muscle yields were higher in winter and spring. In October specimens, total adenosine 5′-triphosphate (ATP)-related compounds (ARC), total free amino acids (FAA), and glycogen in both muscle and viscera decreased markedly. The artificial diet fed to small abalone had much higher glycogen in the muscle than those fed on gracilar, and showed a great seasonal change. Total amounts of ARC in the muscles were higher through March to July, while those in the viscera were maximal in January. Taurine, arginine, glycine, glutamic acid, and alanine were the major FAA in both tissues, accounting for 81–94% of the total FAA. Total amounts of FAA in the muscles were higher in the samples collected from winter and early spring than in other seasons. Glycine, glutamic acid, and adenosine monophosphate might be the most important taste components related to the palatability of small abalone. Their total amounts in the muscles of the two specimens were considerably high in December to March. This finding suggested that small abalone produced in winter and early spring might be more palatable.