Tuna red meat is a highly value and fresh tuna fish rich in protein and other nutrition. Unlike most fish, tuna has a range of colors from pink to dark red. You may often see that most of Japanese sushi or sashimi using a thin piece of red tuna meat with firm but tender texture which considered being raw flesh. There are so many factors that can affect and change the colors as well as the appearance of tuna meat. More detailed information below.
What makes tuna red meat in color?
Just like we mentioned above, unlike most of the fish, tuna is vary in colors from pink to dark red and this is caused by the large amounts of Myoglobin which is the oxygen-binding protein that similar with hemoglobin. The red oxy-myoglobin color is dominant in the presence of oxygen, however it will slowly changing to brown metmyoglobin due to storage processing. That’s why to optimize the color of tuna flesh and gain its consistency, there are certain ways to manage tuna in diet practice, fishing, as well as the processing.
About carbon monoxide treatment in tuna
Carbon monoxide (CO) treatment in tuna is conducted by exposing its flesh to CO gas which lead the color to change into a bright cherry red of flesh that are slightly different in appearance of natural untouched tuna red meat. This processing are now prohibited in countries like Japan, Canada, European Union, and Singapore because the process offers dangerous effect which can even cause to death. Some of the carbon monoxide poisoning victim often is found with bright cherry red as well. The main problem is that the consumers are not inhaling the gas, but they ‘eat’ them which is very risky and can cause CO poisoning. That’s why some of the countries we already listed above are forbid the use of carbon monoxide gas in order to make the old tuna appear bright and fresh again, like a ‘new’ meat. Although in Japan, the process of carbon monoxide injection is somehow still used, however the meat products are distributed to other countries that allowing such treatment. In conclusion, the treatment is prohibited not because of the chemical itself, but it is because the gas used for fraud to deceive the consumers.
Tuna red meat products are easy to be found at food market and the nutrition is equal with white meat. Some of tuna purveyors must bring the fresh and raw tuna flesh as soon as possible to the sushi or sashimi bar because once the tuna flesh touched the air; it will bit by bit start to change from bright red oxymyoglobin to brown metmyoglobin. However, never try to unprofessionally eat raw tuna flesh especially if you do not know whether the red color of the meat comes from natural oxymyoglobin or it is already been processed by CO gas because it will brings certain health risk. If you want to eat the red meat of tuna then you should go to the high quality and trustworthy sushi restaurant. If you found out that the tuna meat has certain unnatural watermelon red color then it is possible the flesh has been treated with monoxide. It may not kill you, but it is not worth to spend top-shelf prices for the tuna.
As for the canned tuna red meat, of course you cannot find the one that as fresh as raw tuna flesh due to the storage processing and some manufacturers even using frozen tuna before package them inside the cans. When you purchase canned tuna fish, please pay attention of the preservation as well because it will affect the amount of the nutrition like the omega 3 fatty acids. Chose the tuna in oil will certainty dispose the omega 3 when you drained off the canned fish and thus it is better if you choose the one with water or brine (salt water).
Tuna contains a lot of proteins from its meat and other nutrition like calcium, vitamins, carbohydrate, and so on. There are also many types of tuna red meat sold in markets; you just need to be careful when buying it fresh as well as when purchasing it as a canned product to get the best tuna fish meat.