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Keywords:

  • micro-organisms;
  • spoilage;
  • shelf life;
  • processed seafoods

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Fresh fish and seafoods are very perishable products mainly owing to microbial activity of specific spoilage micro-organisms. Application of hurdle technology leads to a variety of processed products with extended shelf life. In this study, sensory evaluation and microbiological analysis were carried out on 17 processed seafood products stored at 4 °C to determine their shelf life and the predominant spoilage micro-organisms.

RESULTS: Shelf life determined by sensory analysis varied from 66 to 180 days depending on the product. The cause of spoilage for most of the products was the development of off-flavours/off-odours, while two products were rejected owing to oil discolouration. Pseudomonads were in most cases below detection limit. H2S-producing bacteria, Brochothrix thermosphacta and Enterobacteriaceae were below detection limit throughout the experiment. The predominant spoilage micro-organisms were lactic acid bacteria and yeasts. Hygiene indicators such as Staphylococcus spp. and total coliforms were also below detection limit in all samples.

CONCLUSION: Primarily the initial pH and secondarily the NaCl content determined shelf life duration. Under the applied conditions, lactic acid bacteria and yeasts predominated. The contribution of chemical oxidation and/or autolysis to spoilage and shelf life might be important for most of the products. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry