Evaluation of Shelf Life of Superchilled Cod (Gadus morhua) Fillets and the Influence of Temperature Fluctuations During Storage on Microbial and Chemical Quality Indicators

Authors

  • Gudrun Olafsdottir,

    Corresponding author
    1. Authors Olafsdottir, Lauzon, and Martinsdóttir are with Icelandic Fisheries Laboratories, Skulagata 4, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland.
      Direct inquiries to author Olafsdottir (E-mail: gudrun@rf.is).
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  • Hélégne L. Lauzon,

    1. Authors Olafsdottir, Lauzon, and Martinsdóttir are with Icelandic Fisheries Laboratories, Skulagata 4, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland.
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  • Emilíaa Martinsdóttir,

    1. Authors Olafsdottir, Lauzon, and Martinsdóttir are with Icelandic Fisheries Laboratories, Skulagata 4, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland.
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  • Joerg Oehlenschláuger,

    1. Author Oehlenschläger is with Federal Research Centre for Nutrition and Food, Dept. for Fish Quality (FRCNF), Hamburg, Germany.
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  • Kristberg Kristbergsson

    1. Author Kristbergsson is with Dept. of Food Science, Univ. of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland.
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Direct inquiries to author Olafsdottir (E-mail: gudrun@rf.is).

ABSTRACT

Quality changes of aerobically packed cod fillets stored under superchilling and abusive temperature conditions were characterized by the growth of specific spoilage organisms (SSO) and the production of microbial metabolites measured by an electronic nose along with traditional sensory and chemical analysis (total volatile basic nitrogen [TVB-N], pH). A new process based on quick contact freezing and cold air blasting was used to achieve superchilling of fillets before chilled (0.5 °C) or superchilled (-1.5 °C) storage. Photobacterium phosphoreum dominated under temperature abusive conditions coinciding with high levels of TVB-N and increased electronic nose responses indicating increased levels of alcohols and aldehydes at sensory rejection. Dominating growth of Pseudomonas spp. in 1 batch was associated with the origin, the catching method, and the cooling conditions during processing. The superchilling process followed by superchilled storage (-1.5 °C) extended the sensory shelf life of the fillets for at least 3 d compared with traditional process, resulting in a total shelf life of 15 d. High content of TVB-N was observed in superchilled fillets at sensory rejection. P. phosphoreum counts were lower under superchilling conditions (6.0 to 6.8 log colony-forming units [CFU]/g), compared with the traditionally processed chilled fillets (7.2 log CFU/g). However, H2S-producing bacteria appeared to grow steadily under superchilling conditions reaching counts as high as 7.6 log CFU/g at sensory rejection.

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