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Ostrich (Struthio camelus) liver is an important edible meat by-product. However, it has a low commercial value, and it is underutilized. The present study was conducted to establish the shelf life of ostrich liver, stored at 2 ± 1°C for 18 days, under different packing
conditions. Fresh livers were sliced and packed under air exposure, vacuum, and modified atmosphere (MA: 80% CO2 plus 20% N2). Shelf-life evaluation was based on color, lipid and hemopigment oxidation, microbial counts, and sensory assessment of odor and color. Samples
stored under air exposure showed the highest lipid and hemopigment oxidation rate, which was detected by higher thiobarbituric acid reactive substances values and metmyoglobin percentage and lower heme iron content than livers stored under vacuum or MA. On the basis of aerobic bacteria counts,
the shelf life of ostrich liver stored under aerobic conditions would be 7 days, whereas under vacuum or MA, it would be 14 days. In livers stored under anaerobic conditions (vacuum or MA packed), lactic acid bacteria represented a significant proportion of the spoilage microbiota. Minimal
changes in color perception were also obtained in vacuum-packed samples at the end of the storage period. In air-packed samples, high levels of off-odors were already perceived during the first 6 days of storage, whereas in livers stored under anaerobic conditions (vacuum and MA), these levels
of off-odor were not yet perceived at that time.
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