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Microbiological, chemical and sensory changes of whole and filleted Mediterranean aquacultured sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) stored in ice

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The effect of filleting on the microbiological, chemical and sensory properties of aquacultured sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) stored in ice was studied. Pseudomonads, H2S‐producing bacteria (including Shewanella putrefaciens) and Brochothrix thermosphacta were the dominant bacteria at the end of the 16 day storage period in ice for both whole ungutted and filleted sea bass. Enterobacteriaceae were also found in the spoilage microflora of whole ungutted and filleted sea bass, but their counts were always lower than those of pseudomonads, H2S‐producing bacteria (including S putrefaciens) and B thermosphacta. Total viable counts for whole ungutted sea bass were always lower than those for filleted sea bass samples. Of the chemical indicators of spoilage, TMA (trimethylamine) values of whole ungutted sea bass increased very slowly, whereas significantly higher values were obtained for filleted samples, with respective values of 0.253 and 1.515 mg N per 100 g muscle being reached at the end of their shelf‐life (days 13 and 9 respectively). TVB‐N (total volatile basic nitrogen) values showed a slight increase for whole ungutted sea bass during storage, reaching a value of 26.77 mg N per 100 g muscle (day 13), whereas for filleted fish a corresponding value of 26.88 mg N per 100 g muscle was recorded (day 9). TBA (thiobarbituric acid) values increased slowly for whole ungutted and filleted sea bass samples throughout the entire storage period, reaching final values of 4.48 (day 13) and 13.84 (day 9) mg malonaldehyde kg−1 respectively. Sensory assessment of raw fish using the EC freshness scale gave a grade E for up to 5 days for whole ungutted sea bass, a grade A for a further 4 days and a grade B for an additional 4 days, after which sea bass was graded as C (unfit). Overall acceptability scores for odour, taste and texture of cooked whole ungutted and filleted sea bass decreased with increasing time of storage. The results of this study indicate that the shelf‐life of sea bass stored in ice, as determined by overall acceptability sensory scores and microbiological data, is 8–9 days for filleted and 12–13 days for whole ungutted fish. Copyright © 2003 Society of Chemical Industry
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Keywords: ice storage; marine fish microflora; sea bass; shelf‐life

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Laboratory of Food Chemistry and Technology, Section of Industrial and Food Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Ioannina, Ioannina 45110, Greece

Publication date: October 1, 2003

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