Smoked seafood quality

Please refer also to the general quality assessment checks for all sensory criteria , which cover all seafood.

Appearance

Check Higher quality Lesser quality Comment
Flesh colour Even, bright, glossy, golden; yellowish red or gold Dull or matt, uneven; discoloured, fading Colour is an unreliable guide to quality if considered in isolation. The colour depends on, for example, the original colour of the seafood, the degree of smoking, whether hot or cold smoking has been used, and whether a dye has been used to enhance its appearance. Cold-smoked seafood is often lighter in colour than hot-smoked seafood.
Condition

Smooth intact pellicle (thin skin), free of contaminants

Pellicle slightly damaged; bruising or mould growth

The loss of pellicle  integrity may indicate poor handling.

Odour

Check Higher quality Lesser quality Comment

Clean, smokey aroma

Reduction of smokey aroma

Smoking may mask bad odours, flavours and defects to a certain extent, but they will still be evident.
Be especially wary of unusual smells in smoked seafood—they usually indicate bad preparation or handling, or poor original quality.

Texture

Check Higher quality Lesser quality Comment

Firm and springy

Sticky, soggy, soft patches or flabby

Soft patches can be caused by parasites.

Taste

Check Higher quality Lesser quality Comment

Mildly smokey, perhaps salty

Reduction of smokey flavour, slight presence of foreign flavours or overly salty

Foreign flavours can occur when poor-quality product has been smoked.