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Extension of the Shelf Life of Prawns (Penaeus japonicus) by Vacuum Packaging and High-Pressure Treatment

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The present study has investigated the application of high pressures (200 and 400 MPa) in chilled prawn tails, both conventionally stored (air) and vacuum packaged. Vacuum packaging and high-pressure treatment did extend the shelf life of the prawn samples, although it did affect muscle color very slightly, giving it a whiter appearance. The viable shelf life of 1 week for the air-stored samples was extended to 21 days in the vacuum-packed samples, 28 days in the samples treated at 200 MPa, and 35 days in the samples pressurized at 400 MPa. Vacuum packaging checked the onset of blackening, whereas high-pressure treatment aggravated the problem. From a microbiological point of view, batches conventionally stored reached about 6 log CFU/g or even higher at 14 days. Similar figures were reached in total number of bacteria in vacuum-packed samples and in pressurized at 200-MPa samples at 21 days. When samples were pressurized at 400 MPa, total numbers of bacteria were below 5.5 log CFU/g at 35 days of storage. Consequently, a combination of vacuum packaging and high-pressure treatment would appear to be beneficial in prolonging freshness and preventing spotting.

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: October 1, 2000

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