Panaferd Provides Salmon Color Stability

Color stability is a very important quality criteria in the salmon industry. But various steps such as preparation, freezing, and smoking can greatly affect the color of the fish. Salting, for example, will cause osmotic pressure difference, cell wall disruption, and other conditions, changing the pigment color through water loss. Cold storage and freezing produce ice crystals, also disrupting the color of the fish. And smoking, whether hot or cold, can affect pigment color due to high temperature. At every step of the process, Panaferd®, the natural pigment, produces great results in maintaining the color of your product.


Maintaining Color Throughout Your Process

Any post-harvest process can result in loss of water, and therefore loss of color. When it comes to salmon color stability, Panaferd® holds up every step of the way. In a recent scientific paper, a comparative study of organic and conventionally raised Atlantic salmon was conducted to evaluate color stability along various processing steps (Lerfall et al.,2016). It confirms the excellent stability of Panaferd® in all conditions and shows negligible difference from the stability of synthetically processed astaxanthin.

A graph explaining the stability of Panaferd during freezing

Salmon Color Stability in Cold Storage

Freezing can result in cell damage and loss of water as a result of ice formation. Fish fed with Panaferd® maintain their color throughout freezing and cold storage. In a 2007 comparative study between the natural pigment Panaferd®-AX and synthetic pigment, published in the EFSA journal, samples of Atlantic salmon were stored for six months at -25 °C, -13 °F. Based on carotenoid content, the final coloration of the flesh in both series of treatment showed no statistical difference. 

Glenarm organic smoked salmon - image copyright Glenarm

Rich Color, Even After Smoking

And finally, experts and gourmets recognize Scottish smoked salmon as one of the best in the world. In Scotland, where most of the farmed salmon uses natural pigment, the smoking companies are vocal about how pleased they are with the stability of Panaferd®

Enjoy the Most Natural Color for Your Fish

Through harvesting, freezing, smoking, and the entire shipping process, fish fed with Panaferd® arrive with rich and beautiful coloration. Consumers demand healthy, well-colored salmon. Are you going to take your chances with synthetic pigment? Contact us to learn more about the most natural color for your fish: Panaferd® natural pigment for salmon and trout.



  • Lerfall, J. et al. 2016. A comparative study of organic- versus conventional farmed Atlantic salmon. I. Pigment and lipid content and composition, and carotenoid stability in ice-stored fillets. Aquaculture. vol. 451.
  • EFSA Journal (2007) 546, 1-30. Safety and efficacy of Panaferd®-AX (red carotenoid-rich bacterium Paracoccus carotinifaciens) as feed additive for salmon and trout.

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