The effects of allyl isothiocyanate (AIT; 18 and 36 μg/L) in vapor phase, modified atmosphere (MA; 49% CO2, 0.5% O2, and 50.5% N2), and their combinations on the growth behavior of Pseduomonas aeruginosa in fresh catfish fillet at different abuse temperatures (8, 15, and 20 °C) were evaluated in this study. Lag phase, maximum growth rate, and shelf life were used as parameters to analyze the antimicrobial effects. Both gaseous AIT and MA alone inhibited the growth potential of P. aeruginosa effectively, prolonging the shelf life by 1.5 to 3.4 times compared to the control at abuse temperatures between 8 and 20 °C. The synergistic effect was observed at 8 °C, extending the shelf life of fresh catfish by more than 6.5 times (≥ 550 h). In addition, the maximum growth rate decreased with decreasing storage temperature, but it was not significantly influenced by the addition of AIT or MA. Hence, the combination of AIT and MA may be used as an effective antimicrobial system to reduce the microbial risks due to temperature abuse and to improve the shelf life of fresh catfish fillet. The proper combination of AIT and MA may be further optimized for industrial applications.
Fresh seafood is a high-value commodity with short shelf life. Abuse temperature during transportation or inappropriate storage condition may create a suitable environment for microorganisms to grow, thus decreasing the shelf life or raising the safety issue of fresh seafood. The technology of using combinations of vapor phase allyl isothiocyanate and modified atmosphere can effectively inhibit the growth of aerobic spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms in fresh catfish fillet, thereby extending the shelf life and increasing the microbial safety of fresh catfish. This technology may also benefit other seafood products.