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ABSTRACT

The effect of modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) (70% CO2/30% N2; 30% CO2/70% N2) on the shelf-life of fresh chicken carcasses stored at 2, 4, 7 and 9C was investigated. The shelf-lives of MAP carcasses (70% CO2/30%N2) stored at 2, 4, 7 and 9C were 25, 21, 12 and 8 days, respectively compared with 7 days for air-packaged ones stored at 4C; the shelf-life of MAP carcasses (30% CO2/70%N2) stored at the same temperatures were 20, 15, 8 and 8 days, respectively. The inhibitory effect of MAP on the growth of Enterobacteriaceae and on the production of spoilage metabolites, such as free fatty acids and extract release volume, was negligible at higher temperatures (7 and 9C) and more pronounced at lower temperatures (2 and 4C), especially at higher concentrations of CO2 (70% CO2/30% N2). The occurrence and growth of organisms such as Escherichia coli, coliforms, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella and Campylobacter in carcasses stored at different temperatures were also documented.