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Keywords:

  • fish;
  • high pressure;
  • texture profile analysis;
  • microstructure;
  • preservation

ABSTRACT

High pressure is an innovative non-thermal food-preservation technology. We studied the effect of high-pressure treatment up to 500 MPa for 5 min on physical characteristics of sea bass fillets after 0, 7, and 14 d of refrigerated storage. Color results exhibited an increase of lightness and a slight change of hue, which might be imperceptible in cooked fish. High-pressure treatment induced a decrease of exudation and water-holding capacity. Pressure treatment above 300 MPa provoked higher fish hardness after storage than in untreated sample, proving the ability of high pressure to improve textural quality of chilled, stored fish fillet. These assessments were corroborated with microstructure observations. We showed that high-pressure treatment at 500 MPa allowed, after 7 d of storage, a total aerobic count equivalent to that of untreated fresh fish fillet to be obtained. Thus, high pressure might be considered to be a technology able to improve safety and textural quality of fresh fish fillets.