Effect of temperature control on the efficiency of modified atmosphere packaging of cod loins in bulk




Hélène L. Lauzon, Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir, Magnea G. Karlsdóttir, Eyjólfur Reynisson, Björn Margeirsson, Emilia Martinsdóttir

Supported by:

EU IP Chill ‐ on (contract FP6‐016333‐2)


Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir

Project Manager

Effect of temperature control on the efficiency of modified atmosphere packaging of cod loins in bulk

The aim of the experiment was to compare the freshness, quality and shelf life of sub-chilled (CBC) cod necks in air storage and in aerated packages (MAP) at controlled temperatures to simulate temperature fluctuations during transport and distribution in the European market. Changes in the composition of the gas in the packages were monitored and sensory assessments and microbial and chemical measurements were performed. The fish was caught in bottom trawls in the spring and processed three days after fishing. There was a two-day prolongation during the freshness period and one day for the shelf life of fish in aerated packages (2.7 kg in a tray) compared to air (3.1 kg) in foam plastic, despite a 0.5 ° C difference in the average temperature of the groups and the air group was stored at lower temperatures (‐0.3 ± 0.9 ° C). The greatest temperature fluctuations led to the greatest shortening of the freshness time in air-conditioned packages. Cod saddles stored subcooled at -1.1 ± 0.1 ° C had a shelf life of 13 days. The results of microbial counts and chemical measurements showed the importance of Photobacterium phosphoreum in the formation of TMA in the process of damaging cod necks during both air and air exchange packaging. MAP and subcooling slowed down and changed the damage process. MAP increased drip by 2% in the later stages of storage.

The aim of this study was to compare freshness, quality deterioration and shelf life of CBC (combined blast and contact) ‐treated cod loins packaged in bulk under different atmospheres (air or modified atmosphere, MA) and stored under different temperature profiles to mimic temperature changes during transport and distribution to European markets. Sensory, chemical, microbial and headspace gas composition analyzes were performed regularly. The fish was caught by trawler in the spring and processed 3 days post catch. Following simulation of current sea freight conditions and distribution to European markets, a 2 ‐ day and 1 ‐ day increase in freshness period and shelf life of MA ‐ packaged fish (2.7 kg in trays), respectively, was observed compared to air ‐ stored loins (3.1 kg in EPS boxes). This is despite a mean product temperature difference of 0.5 ° C between the products, being lower (‐0.3 ± 0.9 ° C) for air ‐ stored fish. Abusive conditions had the greatest impact on the reduction of the freshness period for MAP fish. Superchilled storage of MAP loins (‐1.1 ± 0.1 ° C) resulted in a 13 ‐ day shelf life. Evaluation of microbial and chemical indicators emphasized the importance of Photobacterium phosphoreum and TMA formation in the deterioration of cod loins stored in air or MA, while superchilled MAP storage delayed as well as modified the spoilage pattern. MAP increased drip loss by about 2% at late storage.

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