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Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

Food safety, quality assessment summarizes the sustainable conservation of seafood to minimize waste and losses

By Vaseline May30,2024
Food safety, quality assessment summarizes the sustainable conservation of seafood to minimize waste and losses

This article was reviewed according to Science


The enzymatic process that takes place in fish, where bacteria in the meat catalyze the conversion of TMAO. TMAO is metabolized by specific bacterial enzymes, TMAO oxidoreductase and TMAO demethylase, producing TMA, a compound known for its characteristic fishy odor, and DMA. The latter two are considered TVB-N, the collective measure for various nitrogen spoilage-associated compounds. Created in BioRender.com. Credit: Food quality and safety (2024). DOI: 10.1093/fqsafe/fyae017

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The enzymatic process that takes place in fish, where bacteria in the meat catalyze the conversion of TMAO. TMAO is metabolized by specific bacterial enzymes, TMAO oxidoreductase and TMAO demethylase, producing TMA, a compound known for its characteristic fishy odor, and DMA. The latter two are considered TVB-N, the collective measure for various nitrogen spoilage-associated compounds. Created in BioRender.com. Credit: Food quality and safety (2024). DOI: 10.1093/fqsafe/fyae017

Seafood is in high demand in different parts of the world. Moreover, this demand for seafood is expected to increase by as much as 56% by 2050. Given seafood’s high moisture content and susceptibility to microbial and biochemical spoilage, it often requires heavy processing and preservation to maintain its freshness, unique composition and flavors.

Despite this, the fish processing industry generates enormous amounts of waste products that sometimes even exceed the amount of actual edible products. Improper waste disposal and seafood spoilage can also have serious environmental, financial and health consequences.

Sustainable processing and preservation methods are therefore necessary to ensure the maintenance of long-lasting seafood quality, while minimizing the ecological and economic impact of the waste generated.

Traditional methods are often used for preserving seafood. These include drying, salting, canning, fermenting, pickling, sugaring, sun drying, traditional fermentation, potting, refrigeration and freezing. While these methods help improve the shelf life of seafood, they can ultimately change the taste, texture and flavor of seafood, hindering its edibility.

Furthermore, the use of these methods also requires strict measures to maintain hygiene and efficiency, which may incur additional costs. Recently, however, several innovative physical and chemical methods have come to the fore, possessing the potential to transform seafood processing into an economically and environmentally sustainable process.

Now, in a review article published in Food quality and safetyresearchers shed light on some of these recent breakthrough physical and chemical advanced techniques that can effectively reduce seafood waste and improve productivity.

The review was co-authored by Dr. Luisa Diomede, Dr. Andrea Conz, Dr. Enrico Davoli and Dr. Carlotta Franchi from Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri IRCCS, Milan, Italy, as part of the project “ON Foods-Retwork of research and innovation in sustainability, food safety and nutrition – working on food products.”

Dr. Diomede, the corresponding author of the review, further elaborates on the rationale behind conducting this research: “The seafood canning industry is driven by a mission to extend the shelf life of seafood, maintain its quality, reduce waste and minimize the impact on the environment. , is looking for innovative methods for this.

“In this review, we sought to evaluate whether the proposed innovations address the complexities of seafood conservation to meet rising seafood demand in a conscious and sustainable manner.”

The researchers conducted a detailed literature search and identified 49 studies in 23 countries focusing on the physical and chemical techniques of fish conservation. The chemical methods they evaluated include the use of organic acids and preservatives derived from biological sources, such as microorganisms, plants or animals.

Weak organic acids, such as acetic acid, citric acid, lactic acid and ascorbic acid, along with their sodium salts, help slow lipid and nitrogen metabolism and inhibit microbial growth in seafood products. This contributes to improving the shelf life.

Additionally, using a combination of acids can help counteract changes in sensory properties, odor and taste associated with specific acids. Taking into account the species-specific characteristics, the unique composition and the concentration and the type of acid, the preservation of seafood can be optimized.

Preservatives derived from microbial, plant, or animal metabolites are gaining popularity, given their safety and potential to preserve the sensory and nutritional characteristics of processed seafood. Among the various metabolites, bacteriocins and chitosans, which are generally recognized as safe, have demonstrated potent biopreservative effects due to their ability to improve the shelf life and stability of seafood.

Next, researchers focus on physical methods that rely on non-thermal approaches by circumventing the need for temperature maintenance, which is often energy and cost intensive.

Unlike conventional approaches that require maintaining a cold chain or heating, cold plasma (CP), high hydrostatic pressure (HHP), and UV-C radiation can work effectively at ambient temperatures.

CP, an ionized gas distinct from the solid, liquid and gaseous states, and Dielectric Barrier Discharge-High Voltage Cold Atmospheric Plasma (DBDHVCAP) have demonstrated the ability to inhibit bacterial growth and hinder metabolic processes that lead to spoilage, without compromising the quality of the product. quality of seafood.

HHP is another heat-free approach that destroys spoilage-causing microbes and enzymes. Optimizing temperature and pressure conditions can further enhance the effects of this approach. UV-C irradiation is another simple and effective decontamination technique, regardless of temperature or pH conditions. However, physical methods can accelerate lipid oxidation, necessitating the optimization of treatment conditions.

In a nutshell, this overview highlights the findings from various studies on different conservation techniques and fish species. It also focuses on the benefits and challenges associated with each approach. Even as new and advanced approaches are in the wake of development, the need of the hour is to strike a balance between improving shelf life, ensuring consumer safety and satisfaction, economic viability and sustainability, while retaining the nutritional value and taste of the product.

Dr. Diomede says: “Even as the industry grows and progresses in the future, addressing challenges and optimizing fish preservation methods for a sustainable supply of high-quality seafood will remain critical.”

More information:
Andrea Conz et al., Seafood Loss Prevention and Waste Reduction, Food quality and safety (2024). DOI: 10.1093/fqsafe/fyae017

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