The effect of cooling methods at processing and use of gel-packs on storage life of cod (Gadus morhua) loins - Effect of transport via air and sea on temperature control and retail-packaging on cod deterioration
The purpose of the experiments was to investigate the effect of different cooling during processing and temperature fluctuations in transport with and without a cooling mat on the shelf life of cod necks. In processing, it was compared to use no pre-cooling for filleting, liquid cooling and skin cooling (CBC) which is always liquid-cooled. The effect of simulated temperature fluctuations in transport temperature changes (RTS) was compared with storage at a constant temperature (-1 ° C). The effects of using a cooling mat in storage and transport were also assessed. Samples were quality assessed by sensory evaluation, microbial and chemical measurements. Temperature was monitored with thermometers. Skimmed cod fillets in foam plastic boxes were transported to Bremerhaven by air and ship, where they were repackaged in air and aerated packages (MAP) and stored at 1 ° C. Chemical and microbiological measurements were performed to monitor quality changes. The temperature of the erythema necrosis was lower than in the first 2 days of the experiment. The cooling mats had a certain effect of lowering the temperature when temperature fluctuations were in the process and lower temperatures were maintained throughout the storage period. However, the use did not affect the duration of freshness or shelf life according to sensory evaluation. The number of microorganisms was somewhat lower if temperature fluctuations occurred in the process, but there was little difference at a constant temperature. Storage at a constant, low temperature (-1 ° C) prolonged shelf life by approx. 3 days according to sensory evaluation and it was in accordance with microbial counts and measurements of TVB-N and TMA. Experiments in Bremerhaven showed that the number of microorganisms was generally lower when using aerated packaging compared to airborne fish. This was especially noticeable in the flying fish. The fish transported by ship was still stored for as long as the fish transported by air. This is due to the fact that the flying fish experienced greater temperature fluctuations during transport and its surface temperature measured 4 ° C on arrival in Bremerhaven. The transport time by ship was much longer (+48 hours) but the surface temperature was below 2 ° C on receipt. The use of cooling mats had little effect on the temperature during transport, but nevertheless the surface temperature was slightly lower in fish with cooling mats on arrival in Bremerhaven both by air and by ship.
The main aim of the experiment was to investigate the effects of different cooling techniques during processing and temperature fluctuations during transport on the storage life of cod loins with and without gel packs. The following cooling techniques were studied: combined blast and contact (CBC) cooling (with liquid cooling prior to the CBC cooling), only liquid cooling and where no special cooling was used prior to deskinning and trimming. The effect of real temperature simulation (RTS) during storage was compared to a steady storage temperature of -1 ° C. The samples were analyzed with sensory, microbial and chemical methods. The temperature was monitored from packaging using temperature loggers. CBC cooled loins were transported to Bremerhaven via air and ship freight after packaging in EPS boxes. The fish was repacked in air and modified atmosphere and stored at 1 ° C. Deteriorative changes were evaluated by microbial and chemical indicators. CBC cooling resulted in a lower temperature profile the first two days of the experiment. The use of gel packs lowered somewhat the temperature increase in the products when RTS was applied and lower temperature was maintained during the entire storage period. According to sensory evaluation, the use of gel packs did not result in prolonged freshness period or shelf life. According to microbial and chemical analysis no marked difference was seen whether gel packs were used or not in groups stored at a steady temperature. However, microbial counts were somewhat lower and slower formation of TVB-N and TMA occurred in RTS groups where gel packs were used compared to no gel packs. Storage at a steady -1 ° C resulted in extended shelf life of three days according to sensory evaluation. This was confirmed by microbial and chemical analysis as lower microbial counts, TVB-N and TMA values were generally obtained in the steady temperature group than in the group receiving the RTS treatment. The storage studies carried out at Bremerhaven on modified atmosphere vs. air packed loins showed generally lower microbial counts, especially in the air transported fish. Deterioration process of air and sea freight fish was however similar. Re-packaging of sea freight fish at a later stage did not significantly affect its deteriorative process compared to re-packed air freight fish. This might be due to the fact, that the air freight fish was subject to high temperatures during transport and surface temperature reached over 4 ° C. The sea freight fish had a much longer transport phase, but arrived with surface temperatures below 2 ° C. This shows that not only the time of re-packaging but also the temperature profile during transport are important factors influencing the deteriorative process and shelf life. Gel packs did not have significant cooling effect in this experiment. However the surface temperature in boxes with a gel pack was slightly lower than in boxes without a gel pack independently of transport mode used.