Sometimes my tuna, chicken or salmon has brownish spots, and sometimes there appears to be less meat, why is that?
Variation in the meat to liquid ratio and browning are both due to natural variation and our once cooked process.
Our salmon, chicken, and tuna (albacore and skipjack) are processed using the once cooked method, wherein the meat is placed in the can, sealed, and then cooked. It is completely cooked and ready to eat right out of the can.
Since no liquid is added, the only liquid present in the can comes from the fat and juices that cook out of the fish/chicken. When the tuna, salmon or chicken is more lean, and hence higher in protein, there might not be enough fat and juice to completely surround the meat with liquid as it cooks. This results in brownish spots, or caramelization. Please view this example of the brownish spots, or caramelization in the can.
Conversely, if the fish/chicken is higher in fat, more liquid will cook out and this may give the impression of less meat in the can. However, all cans are packed with the same amount of meat and no liquids are added. It is natural variation that will cause the meat to liquid ratio to vary.
We encourage our customers to break up the meat and allow the liquid to reabsorb. There are beneficial long chain Omega 3 fatty acids in the salmon and tuna, and small particles of protein, called peptides, in all three products. The nutrition panels are based on the whole contents, meat and liquid.
The exception to this is the albacore tuna which we pack in olive oil; it is twice cooked and will not exhibit as much natural variation.