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Effects of pre-, in- and post-rigor filleted Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)on microbial spoilage and quality characteristics during chilled storage

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Journal of Aquatic Food Product Technology ; Volume 12. p. 17–31. 2003

Rosnes, Jan Thomas; Skuland, Aase Vorre; Folkvord, Lindis; Hovda, Margrethe; Fjæra, Svein Olav; Skjervold, Per Olav

Atlantic salmon fillets processed pre-, in-, and post-rigor were compared for microbial growth, odor, water loss, texture, and gaping in two separate experiments. Salmon were chilled to a core temperature of < 2.5°C prior to slaughter, and stored gutted at 0°C on ice. Salmon were filleted, as pre-rigor (4 hours after slaughtering), in-rigor (2 days), and post-rigor (5 days), and the fillets were stored vacuum packaged or exposed to air on ice at 0°C for up to 14 days. The pre-rigor fillets had lower bacterial numbers (total viable counts, H2S-producing bacteria and psychrotrophic bacteria) when stored in air and for most samples in vacuum. The fresh odor scores were higher, gaping lower, but water loss higher in pre-rigor fillets compared to post-rigor. The results show that pre-rigor filleting of Atlantic salmon is a preferable alternative to traditional post-rigor filleting.

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