Short communication

Temperature fluctuations in processing and distribution: Effect on the shelf life of fresh cod fillets (Gadus morhua L.)

Lorentzen, Grete; Ageeva, Tatiana N; Heide, Morten; Esaiassen, Margrethe


Tidsskrift: Food Control, vol. 112, p. 1–4, 2020

Utgiver: Elsevier

Internasjonale standardnumre:
Trykt: 0956-7135
Elektronisk: 1873-7129

Open Access: none


Low temperature is essential in keeping quality of fresh cod products, and maintaining low temperature is challenging during processing, distribution and storage. In the first step of this study, temperature fluctuations of fresh cod fillets were logged in a commercial cold chain. Short-term temperature rise was observed in the fillets during processing, but in the following distribution, the temperature of the product was approximately 0 °C. In supermarkets, however, fillet temperatures up to 7.0 °C were registered. In the second step, a controlled storage experiment was performed copying time and temperature conditions mapped in the first step. The fillet quality was evaluated with respect to odour and TVB-N at day 7, 10 and 12 after catch. Even a minor rise in temperature by 2 °C reduced the shelf life significantly after 12 days (5 days in ice followed by 7 days at elevated temperature) (p < 0.05). Only fillets stored at 0 °C was below the threshold of 35 mg TVB-N/100 g after 12 days of storage. In this experiment, this threshold was passed at 12 degree-days (DD), and it is suggested that DD should be further explored for generating a rule of thumb for shelf life of cod fillets.