Shelf life extension of whole Norway lobster Nephrops norvegicus using modified atmosphere packaging



Gornik SG, Albalat A, Theethakaew C & Neil DM (2013) Shelf life extension of whole Norway lobster Nephrops norvegicus using modified atmosphere packaging. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 167 (3), pp. 369-377.

Once a nuisance by-catch, today the Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus) is a valuable UK fisheries commodity. Unfortunately, the species is very susceptible to quality deterioration post harvest as it quickly develops black spots and also spoils rapidly due to bacterial growth. Treatment with chemicals can stop the blackening and carefully monitored cold storage can result in a sensory shelf life of up to 6.5 days. The high susceptibility to spoilage greatly restricts the extent to which N. norvegicus can be distributed to retailers and displayed for sale. The application of modified atmosphere (MA) could be extremely beneficial, allowing the chilled product to stay fresh for a long period of time, thus ensuring higher sales. In the present study, we identified a gas mix for the MA packaging (MAP) of whole N. norvegicus lobster into 200 g retail packs. Our results show that a shelf life extension to 13 days can be achieved when retail packs are stored in MAP at 1 °C. Effectiveness of the MAP was evaluated by using a newly developed QIM for MA-packaged whole N. norvegicus and also by analyzing bacterial plate counts. Changes in the microflora and effects of different storage temperatures on the quality of the MA packs are also presented. The main specific spoilage organism (SSO) of modified atmosphere packaged Norway lobster is Photobacterium phosphoreum.

Norway lobster; Modified atmosphere packaging; QIM; SSO; Photobacterium phosphoreum

International Journal of Food Microbiology: Volume 167, Issue 3

Publication date30/11/2013

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Dr Amaya Albalat
Dr Amaya Albalat

Senior Lecturer, Institute of Aquaculture