• color;
  • filtered smoke;
  • histamine;
  • mahi mahi;
  • oxidation;
  • shelf life

ABSTRACT:  A study was performed to investigate the effect of filtered wood smoke processing on quality and safety of mahi mahi compared to no treatment. Skinless mahi mahi fillet portions were either treated with filtered smoke (FS) or left untreated for 24 h, followed by either (a) aerobic storage at 4 °C for 8 d or (b) freezing for 30 d (–25 °C) followed by thawing and aerobic storage at 4 °C for 8 d. Results show that treating mahi mahi fillets with FS increased (P < 0.05) a* values (redness) of the muscle and stabilized it during frozen storage. The redness did, however, decay (P < 0.05) rapidly on cold storage for both defrosted and fresh filtered-smoke-treated products, and reached initial (presmoking) redness levels in 2 d. The FS process overall significantly (P < 0.05) improved microbial stability of the product. Stability toward lipid oxidation was also significantly (P < 0.05) increased for the FS products compared to untreated products, particularly after defrosting. Sensory studies supported the microbial and lipid oxidation findings, showing that products treated with FS were better accepted and had increased (P < 0.05) shelf life over the untreated products. The shelf life was, however, compromised when microbial levels increased; that is, the process did not mask microbial spoilage; the spoilage did become evident in the sensory trials.