Quality and shelf life of vacuum- and nitrogen-packed dried barb fish (Puntius spp.)
Vacuum and modified atmosphere packaging are widely used for preserving food items including fish. In this context, the quality and shelf life of air- (control), vacuum- and nitrogen-packed dried barb fish (Puntius spp.) stored at ambient temperature were evaluated through biochemical and microbial analyses for 90 days. In most of the storage days, significantly lower values of moisture, total volatile base-nitrogen (TVB-N) and peroxide value (PV) were observed in the vacuum pack sample compared to control. However, the TVB-N, PV, total coliforms and faecal coliforms counts were within the acceptable limit in all groups. The total plate count (TPC) increased gradually with time from an initial value of 4.29 log CFUg–1. However, compared to control, significantly lower TPC were found on and after the 30th day of storage in vacuum and nitrogen pack samples. Considering the TPC value of 5 log CFUg–1, the shelf life was determined at approximately 15 days for control, 35 days for nitrogen pack and 45 days for vacuum pack samples. Therefore, the vacuum pack is considered the best packaging, which may be utilised by the processors to produce and retail the dried products with prolonged shelf life.
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