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Oyster Preservation by High-Pressure Treatment

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The purpose of this study was to analyze the effect of 10-min continuous pressure and pulsed pressure in two 5-min steps (400 MPa at 7°C) on the microbial flora, total volatile bases, pH, and texture of purified and unpurified oysters. High-pressure treatment reduced the number of all the target microorganisms (total viable count, H2S-producing microorganisms, lactic acid bacteria, Brochothrix thermosphacta, and coliforms), in some cases by around 5-log units. The difference between the counts in the control and the pressurized oysters remained stable throughout 41 days of storage at 2°C. No Salmonella spp. were detected in either the control batch or the pressurized batches during this storage period. Deterioration of the oyster was accompanied by increased total volatile bases, mainly in the nonpressurized samples. The pH was practically constant in the pressurized oysters and fell slightly in unpressurized samples. As for mechanical properties, shear strength values were higher in pressurized than in unpressurized oysters. Step-pulse pressurizing (400 MPa at 7°C in two 5-min pulses) produced no apparent advantages over continuous pressurizing based on any of the indices used.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Departamento de Ciencia y Tecnología de Carnes y Pescados; Instituto del Frío (CSIC), Ciudad Universitaria, E28040 Madrid, Spain

Publication date: February 1, 2000

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