Characterization of the temperature fluctuation effect on shelf life of an octopus semi-preserved product
The aim of this work is to study the effect of temperature fluctuations on spoilage microbial flora behaviour of a semi-preserved seafood product in modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) as well as to find correct interpretation criteria for simulating temperature fluctuations during storage tests. The study concerned 54 packages of “Octopus carpaccio” that were grouped in three batches and stored at 3 different temperature profiles: the first (16 packages - Group 4°C) was stored at 4±0.5°C; the second (16 packages - Group 8°C) was stored at 8±0.5°C; the third (16 packages - Group F) was stored under a fluctuating temperature regime between 2°C and 14°C. Spoilage microflora, pH and AW has been monitored, at regular intervals, along the storage period (44 days). A predictive model was constructed according to the accredited scientific literature and validated against the observed growth curves of the above three groups. Afterwards, the predictive model has been used setting the temperature at the mean value of fluctuations (6.72°C), at the kinetic mean value of fluctuations (7.80°C) and at the 75th percentile value of fluctuations (11.14°C). The best fitting to the observed data was obtained with the kinetic mean temperature value and this result shows that this parameter can be proposed to reproduce the temperature fluctuation along the distribution and the domestic storage when a storage test has to be carried out.
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