Hourglass Spinning Image  Your Cart

Q&A: What’s the difference between the various types of canned tuna?

 

Q&A: What’s the difference between the various types of canned tuna?

Bee Nutritious Types Of Canned Tuna

 

Answer: One of our favorite things about canned tuna is that there are numerous varieties that offer different qualities in terms of taste, texture, and price. Our answer below includes the primary differences between the most common types of canned tuna: white albacore and light (both solid and chunk), as well as their best uses and any differences in their nutritional values.

White Tuna, including solid white albacore tuna and chunk white, refers only to the albacore tuna variety. Albacore tuna is a larger fish with a lighter colored flesh, a firmer texture, and a milder flavor than the solid or chunk light fish varieties. For this reason, some people prefer albacore over light for dishes that merit a milder flavor (like this tuna bruschetta recipe).

Light Tuna can be a mix of a variety of smaller tuna species, most often skipjack, but may also include yellowfin, tongol, or big-eye. The best uses for solid or chunk light tuna are in tuna salads, pasta dishes, and casseroles, where the slightly stronger flavor shines through. Chunk light tuna is also the least expensive variety of canned tuna — another perk!

Solid vs. Chunk indicates the size of the pieces of tuna in the can. For example, as previously mentioned in this article, there is “solid white albacore” and “chunk white albacore”. Solid tuna means that it has larger, firmer pieces with fewer flakes; whereas chunk tuna comes in smaller pieces that vary in size. But through it all, keep in mind that only albacore will do.

Nutritionally, all types of canned tuna offer lean protein, omega-3 fats, selenium, and other important nutrients. While albacore tuna is slightly higher in fat and calories, the difference is minimal enough that it shouldn’t deter you.

We like solid and chunk tuna for different reasons, and tend to use both for a variety of canned tuna recipes. For instance, we love the new Bumble Bee® Prime Fillet® Solid Light Tuna – Tonno in Olive Oil for its light flavor, which is perfect for setting atop a bed of greens, like in this delightful root vegetable recipe. We still keep chunk light tuna as a staple to use in our favorite tuna salad, or to use in this modern, lighter version of a tuna casserole.

If you’d like to learn more about the differences between these common types of tuna, definitely give our Solid White Albacore Tuna vs. Chunk Light Tuna page a read.


Read Next


64 Comments on “Q&A: What’s the difference between the various types of canned tuna?”

  1. Blake Karrington

    I like tuna period, Bumble Bee tuna is good, just reading all the comments about 1960’s quality of tuna versus 2010’s tuna is laughable, your generation polluted the oceans, overfished the oceans and now your complaining about the quality of gross chunk tuna, do like the Bee said and buy solid white albacore tuna, it’s great tasting and has a very firm, solid texture.

  2. Tosha M. Patterson-Roddy

    I have eaten bumble bee since a kid and I must say I’ve had nothing but great tasting tuna. I buy the solid white albacore and now I buy the can that says wild caught and I love it!!! I always buy the one in vegetable oil because I actually use the oil on my salad and it gives it an amazing added flavor especially when I make macaroni/tuna salad!

  3. Aubrey

    Just wanted to say that I buy the 12oz cans of Solid white albacore. The firmness, taste and color were far better than any other brand. You can’t please everyone.

  4. Khorae Olivier

    I found it really interesting when you explained what types of tuna are referred to by “white tuna” as the albacore tuna variety. I’ve been trying to learn more about the food I eat and make sure I’m making healthy choices. Thank you for the information about how albacore is a larger fish with light colored flesh and is preferred in dishes where you want a lighter, milder flavor.

    1. Bumble Bee Team

      You’re so welcome, Khorae! We’re glad to hear you enjoyed this article. Be sure to check out some of our delicious recipes featuring Solid White Albacore and let us know what you think.

  5. Victor Michael

    Why you guys call this stuff tuna is beyond me.

    on a scale from 1 to 10 Bumble Bee is a big Fat 0

    1. Bumble Bee Team

      Hi Victor, we appreciate any and all feedback from our customers. If you’ve had a specific displeasing experience with our tuna, please give us a call at 1-800-800-8572.
      We’d like to do anything we can to regain your confidence in our products.

  6. valarie fane

    I purchased 2 cans or Bumble Bee Tuna and cans were marked “Bumble Bee Solid White Albacore in water” When I opened cans, the tuna was pinkish and in small pieces. Now, I do not think this qualifies to be called (nor priced) as solid white albacore. The following numbers are on bottom of 1 can: 7343SFBSKP 2Q:37, Best if used by Dec 15 2020.
    Cans were purchased from Meijer market located in Southfield MI 48034 and also have purchased same brand from Target stores in Southfield, MI.
    Why are cans marked one way and contents something entirely different?

    1. Bumble Bee Team

      Hi Valarie! Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Solid style product is machine packed from the whole loin of the tuna. A special filling machine cuts a measured section of fish and inserts it into the can. Fish that have a slightly softer texture than others break up more easily during and after canning – including handling during shipping and case handling as it gets to the shelf, which can affect the appearance of the finished product. We strive to produce cans that are consistently uniform in appearance and assure you we are dedicated to bringing the consumer the highest quality available. If you’d like to get in touch with our consumer affairs team directly, we recommend you contact us at this number: 1-800-800-8572. Thanks!

    2. Lisa Grear

      I have reported this a couple of times to Bumble Bee. Purchased at Costco in a 10 can pack and all the cans are Chunk (brownish, watery pieces). In fact, I just mailed them a can from the 10 pack I purchased. Definitely, not SOLID.

      1. Bumble Bee Team

        Hi Lisa, thanks for reaching out. We’re sorry to hear you were displeased with our product. If you’re willing to give our Consumer Affairs team a call, we’d be happy to resolve this for you. Our number is 1-800-800-8572. Thanks and have a lovely day!

    1. Bumble Bee Team

      Hi Trish! Our products are largely free of soy. Any soy found in Bumble Bee products is usually a component of the vegetable broth used to flavor the tuna, a practice that has been used in the industry for decades. Here’s the list of ingredients we used within the vegetable broth: Carrots, peas, green & red bell peppers, parsley, celery and sometimes soy. If soy is used within the vegetable broth it will be stated on the label “CONTAINS: TUNA, SOY”. If you’d like to try a Bumble Bee albacore product without any vegetable broth, we recommend our Prime Fillet Very Low Sodium Solid White Albacore in Water. Its premium, hand-selected solid white albacore packed in pure water — without broths or extra additives. This is our firmest, whitest, highest-quality Albacore ever. And it’s extra-low on sodium for special diet considerations.

  7. Kitty

    What is the difference with the new cans that are marked albacore wild caught I had bad reaction to this tuna. Always bought your albacore before and was fine but cannot eat the cans marked albacore wild caught

  8. Terry Hoffman

    Which type/style of canned are the typical goo, ie, almost like it was pulverized and needing a screen to separate it from the oil/water?

  9. Terry Hoffman

    Which type/style of canned are the typical goo, ie, almost like it was pulverized and needing a screen to separate it from the oil/water? EX: Chicken of the Sea

    1. Bumble Bee Team

      Hello Pete, thanks for bringing this to our attention. Our tuna is packed in chunks. Because the fish is so tender, flaking can occur after the cans are sealed, but we assure you we always want to be sure we’re providing the best products. If you are looking for larger chunks of tuna, we recommend products containing solid white albacore tuna. Check out our solid white products here: //www.bumblebee.com/products/tuna/bumble-bee-solid-white-albacore-in-water/

  10. Donald Fox

    I purchased a six pack of Bumble Bee Solid White Albacore Tune.

    Why is it called solid white when it is ground like hamburger. I looked on your website and solid albacore is suppose to be chucks and not ground. I have in the past had cans that were half and half, mush and chunks. Better inspect check your floor inspector.

    # ON CAN 703850ESKP

    1. Bumble Bee Team

      Hey Donald. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We want to be sure we’re always providing the highest quality tuna available. Please submit your contact information here: //www.bumblebee.com/contact-us/ and a member of our team will be in touch with you to discuss further.

  11. Joney

    I personally enjoy the old version of tuna light in oil. I feel its the way I ate it as a child and now that I am an adult I dont have the pallet for white albacore. Its made worse for me in water and solid! Horrifies me lol. Its getting harder to find the old version of tuna and I worry one day you will stop making it. Please dont! I love the old version!

    1. Bumble Bee Team

      Thanks, we’re happy to hear that you enjoy our Chunk Light Tuna in Oil. It’s great in many canned tuna recipes. Don’t forget to stock up on our website. You can get a 12-pack or a 24-pack here: //www.bumblebee.com/products/tuna/bumble-bee-chunk-light-tuna-in-oil/

    2. Charles Chandler

      Why don’t tuna fish have the taste that it had in the 60’s when I was a child? Tuna now don’t have any taste to it. My family has stop buying tuna

      1. Bumble Bee Team

        Hey Charles, thanks for your feedback and bringing this to our attention. We want to be sure we’re always providing the highest quality tuna available. Please submit your contact information here: //www.bumblebee.com/contact-us/ and a member of our team will be in touch with you to discuss further.

  12. John Grand

    I really like your albacore. I tried it once and now enjoy your product at least twice a week. Bumble bee has turned me into a Tuna lover. I look forward to my salad thanks to your product. Thanks to the fisherman that bring this product to my table.

    1. Bumble Bee Team

      Hey John, thanks for your kind words! We’re happy to hear that you enjoy Bumble Bee Tuna and that it has helped turn you into a tuna lover. Have you tried our new seasoned tuna pouch flavors? They really spice up the typical tuna salad.

  13. Robert C

    I been buying Skarkist but just bought some Bumblebee chunk light tuna in water.
    Sorry to say i’m very disappointed. This stuff more of a soup than canned Tuna i coulda drank it with a straw..
    I could barely strain out the water without losing the tuna with it it was so mushy and watery.
    Will be going back to Star Kst which has nice chunks which hold their form……and it was cheaper.

    1. Bumble Bee Team

      Hi Robert, thanks for bringing this to our attention. We always want to be sure we’re providing the highest quality of tuna available. Because the fish is so tender, flaking can occur after the cans are sealed. If you are looking for larger chunks of tuna, we recommend products containing solid white albacore tuna. Check out our solid white products here: //www.bumblebee.com/products/tuna/ Thanks for stopping by our page, and hope this helps!

  14. Linda

    I have found the same problem with the tuna. I was so excited when Bumble Bee tuna went on sale at a local store. I bought 4 dozen cans to stock up, only to be disappointed because it was all so mushy that I now feed it to my cat. The cat is thrilled but I’m certainly not.

    1. Bumble Bee Team

      Hi Linda, thanks for bringing this to our attention. We always want to be sure we’re providing the best tuna products. The tuna is packed in chunks. Because the fish is so tender, flaking can occur after the cans are sealed. If you are looking for larger chunks of tuna, we recommend products containing solid white albacore tuna. Check out our solid white products here: //www.bumblebee.com/products/tuna/

  15. Bill Hewitt

    The last several cans of your chunk light tuna in oil appeared to be what used to be called flake tuna. I haven’t seen a chunk in there in a year.

    1. Bumble Bee Team

      Hi Bill – Our chunk light tuna is packed in chunks. Because the fish is so tender, flaking can occur after the cans are sealed, but we assure you we’re dedicated to providing the highest quality tuna available. If you are looking for larger chunks of tuna, we recommend products containing solid white albacore tuna. Check out our solid white products here: //www.bumblebee.com/products/tuna/ Thanks for stopping by our page, and hope this helps.

      1. Paula Brennecke

        Bill Hewitt is right. There is definitely a change in ‘chunk’ tuna from what I used to buy decades ago. I suppose a bit of ‘flaking’ might occur after the cans are sealed, but not the whole can! And, if that’s the case, why didn’t it used to happen? Sorry, I won’t accept that excuse.

        1. Bumble Bee Team

          Hi Paula. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We hear you and want to be sure we’re always providing the highest quality tuna available. Please submit your contact information here: //www.bumblebee.com/contact-us so a member of our team can get in touch with you to discuss further. Thanks.

  16. David Storck

    We have always purchased the Bubble Bee solid white albacore, quality is very good and never had any problems.

  17. Lisa

    Can someone explain to me why I have had so many issues with the quality of the tuna over the last year or so. I am a fan of tuna and I buy the white albacore in water. I have found it very mushy and have opens a couple of cans just recently that contain blue mold. It was not from the color of the fish either. I’m concerned about the quality of monitoring that goes into this product lately.

    1. Bumble Bee Team

      Hi Lisa, Thanks for bringing your concern about mushiness and blue mold to our attention. We always want to provide the highest quality tuna products we can. If you could please submit your contact information on our website (http://bit.ly/VVNrBo), we’d love to follow-up with you further. Thank you.

  18. Janet Spencer

    Thanks, Timothy Lillyquist, for stating exactly how I feel. Recently, I’ve noticed a big difference with cans of tuna. I favor Albacore and recently it seems that no matter which one I purchase, chunk or solid, it’s all still mushy and full of liquid. The worse part is the smell …. very fishy.

    Me thinks I’m moving over to the Kirkland brand from Costco as John Peters recommended earlier. Their canned chicken is by far the best – so I’m hoping the quality of their albacore will follow suit.

    I just can’t trust Bumble Bee or Starkist any longer for quality, especially for the price they charge — nothing like the good old ’60s when you could purchase quality canned tuna.

    1. Bumble Bee Team

      Hi Janet,

      Thanks for raising your concern with us. We always strive to provide the highest quality of tuna possible. Have you tried our Prime Fillet Albacore Tuna? That is our firmest and whitest tuna available. We hope it will be to your liking. //www.bumblebee.com/products/tuna/bumble-bee-prime-fillet-solid-white-albacore-in-water/

    2. Denise L. Dettling

      I agree. Tuna back in the day stayed solid. Now I get a can and its filled with juice and mushy. I only buy solid white albacore because of the mooch. But I prefer the taste of chunk, but there’s no chunks.
      Why has tuna processing changed from the 60’s?

      1. Bumble Bee Team

        Hey Denise, our tuna is packed in chunks. Because the fish is so tender, flaking can occur after the cans are sealed. But we assure you that we’re dedicated to providing the highest quality tuna available. If you are looking for larger chunks of tuna, we recommend products containing solid white albacore tuna. Check out our solid white products here: //www.bumblebee.com/products/tuna/ Thanks for stopping by our page, and hope this helps!

  19. John Peters

    Timothy Lillyquist – the best tuna that I’ve had (canned) is the costco-branded (Kirkland) Chunk Albacore in Water. It taste precisely like the tuna of the 60s. Really good and highly recommended

  20. Rodney Budell

    Why are the small cans of tuna much more mushy than the larger cans? I have noticed that your brand of tuna is the least mushy. Some brands almost look as though their tuna has been ground into mush.

    Why don’t you charge more and pack solid tuna into the cans as you did in the past?

    1. Bumble Bee Team

      But we do! We do offer Solid Albacore Tuna as our premium product. You can find it under our Tuna Products in the website. Thanks for the kind words! //www.bumblebee.com/products/tuna/

      1. JC

        Solid Albacore! Thanks. That’s the term we were looking for. Still enjoyed the Chunk White, but we’ll buy that next time.

        1. Bumble Bee Team

          Good question! Due to our commitment to remain transparent and truthful to our consumers, we always include where our tuna was fished and processed before being canned in the US. Learn where your tuna came from with our Trace My Catch feature. //www.bumblebee.com/tracemycatch/

  21. John

    Thanks!

    It’s confusing as heck when I go to the store and just want to buy a can of tuna and am confronted with 2 dozen flavors.

  22. Timothy Lillyquist

    I believe it comes down to this. The quality of all canned tuna has degraded over the years. When you opened a can of Solid White Albacore tuna in the 60’s be it Bumble Bee, Star-kist or whatever, you found solid tuna fillets cut in slices to fit the can. When you squeezed the can to get rid of the excess oil or water, hardly any came out. It was delicious. Today’s Solid White Albacore is about the same quality as Chunky White was in those days. It’s comprised mostly of liquid and small chunks of tuna (albeit white) half of which squirts out of the can with the liquid packing juice (which represents about half the weight of what you are buying). And today’s Chunk Light is about the same quality as 1960’s cat food at best; almost pure diluted mush. I’ve been looking for the old style, buying the most expensive brand of ‘Solid White Albacore’ I can find and it’s all the same. I think all the really good solid white fillet goes to Japan, where they pay about $40/lb or $50/lb or more, for it (much of it used for sushi), which no one in this country would pay. I think an in depth New Yorker, or Harper’s style story on this subject would make a good read, if it hasn’t been done already. (If so, link please).

    1. Charles Watkins

      Greetings Timothy. You express it all to well. There’s issues with taste consistency as well. I refound my joys with eating Tuna buying Genova brand. It’s double the price but well worth it.

    2. Bumble Bee Team

      Hi Timothy,

      Thank you so much for your input. Unfortunately, we cannot respond to how time has changed the tuna industry in terms of product quality but we can assure you that we are always providing the highest quality tuna possible to our customers. We now feature our Prime Fillet Albacore products which may be to your liking since Solid Albacore isn’t as firm enough. Please take a look: //www.bumblebee.com/products/tuna/bumble-bee-prime-fillet-solid-white-albacore-in-water/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *