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ABSTRACT

A modified atmosphere (MA) of 80% CO2 and 20% air coupled with refrigerated storage was effective in extending shelf life of cooked whole Dungeness crab. Aerobic plate counts were lower over the storage period tested (25 days) for samples held in MA compared to controls held in air. Tissue pH decreased in MA samples, but increased in samples held as air controls (AC). There were significant differences in redox potential between groups, but these did not appear large enough to affect bacterial growth. Trimethylamine and ammonia values were similar for 14 days, then became higher in controls. There were no differences between treatment groups in thiobarbituric acid values, in textural properties as determined by Instron or in reflectance measurements. After removal from MA storage, the crab had a microbial shelf life that mimicked that of a fresh product.