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A New Procedure for Marinating Fresh Anchovies and Ensuring the Rapid Destruction of Anisakis Larvae

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The consumption of marinated anchovies is the main route of transmission of anisakiasis in Spain. Because this country is one of the world's major tourist destinations, this traditional food also poses a potential health risk to millions of foreign visitors. Anisakis larvae are not destroyed by the traditional marinating procedure, and alternative methods, such as long-term storage in brine, freezing, or hydrostatic pressure treatment, all present major difficulties. In this study, we used high food-grade acetic acid concentrations (10, 20, 30, and 40% [vol/vol] in line with the quantum satis rule) to destroy these larvae rapidly, and we report data on the survival of Anisakis larvae exposed directly to different marinades and when the larvae are placed under the fish musculature. The percentage of salt and acetic acid in the fish tissue water phase was also determined. A marinating procedure is proposed that ensures the rapid death of Anisakis through the use of strong acetic acid concentrations. Posttreatment washes with water reduce these to levels acceptable to consumers. The sensory characteristics of the product were shown to be satisfactory. The actual selection of an acetic acid concentration for marinating depends on costs and the processing time available. The physiological stress of the larvae exposed to the different marinades was determined by measuring the levels of their stress proteins. The latter are good indicators of injury and might reflect the infectivity of larvae. In addition, we also used a rat model to determine the infectivity of larvae considered microscopically dead.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Departamento de Microbiología y Parasitología, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Alcalá, E-28871 Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain 2: Laboratorios Cayacea, C/Miguel Yuste, 12, 28037 Madrid, Spain

Publication date: May 1, 2005

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    First published in 1937, the Journal of Food Protection®, is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection® is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

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