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Computer vision system (CVS): a powerful non-destructive technique for the assessment of red mullet (Mullus barbatus) freshness

Tappi, Silvia, Rocculi, Pietro, Ciampa, Alessandra, Romani, Santina, Balestra, Federica, Capozzi, Francesco, Dalla Rosa, Marco
European food research & technology 2017 v.243 no.12 pp. 2225-2233
Mullus barbatus, eyes, firmness, fish, food research, freshness, mucus, pigmentation, rigor mortis, sensory evaluation, storage temperature, storage time, tenderizing, texture, trimethylamine
The evaluation of fish freshness can be performed using chemical, sensory and physical methods. Besides sensory methods, several instrumental techniques have been applied with the objective of replacing sensory assessment. The aim of this study was to set up and test objective physical methods mainly based on computer vision system (CVS) to assess red mullet (Mullus barbatus) freshness evolution during 10 days of storage, at two different storage temperatures (0 and 4 °C). To check the effectiveness of the purposed physical methods, CVS features (loss in the epidermis pigmentation, development of gill mucus and eye concavity index) and firmness have been compared with chemical trimethylamine content and sensory (QIM) attribute scores. As expected, fish degradation was faster at the higher temperature. Instrumental texture evaluation of fish by penetration test enabled to detect distinctive firmness changes due to onset and resolution of rigor mortis, and the successive tenderization phenomenon. Among CVS parameters, the epidermis pigmentation loss, and particularly the eye shape modification (eye concavity index) evidenced a high sensibility for the estimation of fresh red mullet quality loss, as a function of the two different storage conditions, and a good agreement with trimethylamine content and QIM response evolution.