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Quality Changes During Salt-Curing of Cod (Gadus morhua) at Different Temperatures

Oliveira, Helena, Gonçalves, Amparo, Pedro, Sónia, Nunes, Maria Leonor, Vaz-Pires, Paulo, Costa, Rui
Journal of aquatic food product technology 2016 v.25 no.6 pp. 953-965
Gadus morhua, bacteria, color, discoloration, fish, mucus, pH, proteolysis, relative humidity, sensory evaluation, spoilage, temperature
The main aim of this study was to assess the quality changes and their causes during cod salt-curing for up to 76 days at different temperatures and a relative humidity below 80%. Salt-curing made the fish more yellow (L * a * b * scale), a color change that is more easily detected in sensory analysis against a cream color scale. Intense proteolytic breakdown took place at 12 and 18°C, leading to a greater proteolysis degree and a higher pH. A red surface discoloration of the flesh was apparent after 76 days at 18°C due to the high number of red-halophilic bacteria. These bacteria were also responsible for the highest intensity of “off”-odors and mucus obtained under these conditions. Cod salt-curing should be done below 12°C to reduce the spoilage activity of halophilic bacteria and is best done at chill temperature (close to 6°C) to obtain a good quality product.