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chunk light tuna vs solid white albacore . . .

what's the difference? I grew up on albacore but I've always wondered . . .

And is one better for you than the other?

Mon. Sep 17, 11:59pm

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Light is lower quality than white, but it's all about preference (though you could do a nutritional comparison looking at the info on the back of both cans in the store.)

Chunk vs. solid is just how it's canned. Chunk is, well, chunks, and solid is more solid. Both can be "squashed" into normal tuna fish texture, but it takes a little bit more work with solid than with chunk. It's my experience that both light and white come in both chunk and solid.

The most important, nutritionally, is to find the tuna packed in water, rather than the tuna packed in oil.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007, 10:43 AM

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I believe the albacore has higher levels of mercury. I do prefer the albacore because I like the texture. The chunk light is too mushy for my taste.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007, 11:08 AM

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Chunk light is a combination of Skipjack, Bigeye, Yellowfin. Chunk means that if you spread the tuna on a 1/2 inch screen and press it through, then over 50% of the tuna will remain, so it has little chunks of meat. Any smaller and they have to label it flake, not chunk. It is filleted with a machine, and the addition of soy and vegetable broth make the chunk tuna act like a sponge and cause them to soak up up to 20% water weight. The flavor of chunk light is not nearly as good as albacore.
Solid pack means that the cans are packed with fillets of the tuna. It is permitted to have a few small chunks, but not very many.
Most canned albacore will be higher in mercury, but if you are able to get small albacore, the mercury is about the same as chunk light. Most of the Albacore that you get in stores though is long-line caught fish from Asia. There is a pretty high demand for the small West Coast USA albacore, and as a result, most of them are shipped overseas to countries like Spain. There are a few small markets and microcanneries that sell smaller, low-mercury albacore.


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