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Research Article

Received: 2 April 2012 Revised: 20 July 2012 Accepted: 28 July 2012 Published online in Wiley Online Library: 14 September 2012

(wileyonlinelibrary.com) DOI 10.1002/jsfa.5873

Microbiological aspects and shelf life


of processed seafood products
Ioannis S Boziaris,a∗ Anastasios P Stamatioub and George-John E Nychasb

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Fresh fish and seafoods are very perishable products mainly owing to microbial activity of specific spoilage
micro-organisms. Application of hurdle technology leads to a variety of processed products with extended shelf life. In this
study, sensory evaluation and microbiological analysis were carried out on 17 processed seafood products stored at 4 ◦ C to
determine their shelf life and the predominant spoilage micro-organisms.

RESULTS: Shelf life determined by sensory analysis varied from 66 to 180 days depending on the product. The cause of spoilage
for most of the products was the development of off-flavours/off-odours, while two products were rejected owing to oil
discolouration. Pseudomonads were in most cases below detection limit. H2 S-producing bacteria, Brochothrix thermosphacta
and Enterobacteriaceae were below detection limit throughout the experiment. The predominant spoilage micro-organisms
were lactic acid bacteria and yeasts. Hygiene indicators such as Staphylococcus spp. and total coliforms were also below
detection limit in all samples.

CONCLUSION: Primarily the initial pH and secondarily the NaCl content determined shelf life duration. Under the applied
conditions, lactic acid bacteria and yeasts predominated. The contribution of chemical oxidation and/or autolysis to spoilage
and shelf life might be important for most of the products.
c 2012 Society of Chemical Industry

Keywords: micro-organisms; spoilage; shelf life; processed seafoods

INTRODUCTION temperatures.3,8 Semi-preserved fish products are preserved by


With the ever growing global need for safe foods to store and NaCl, organic acids, mostly acetic acid (vinegar), and other preser-
transport from one place to another, an increase in food safety vatives. Marinated and salted herring and anchovies are typical
and shelf life has become necessary. The stability and safety of products of this category.6
most foods are based on the application of combined hurdles Numerous studies have been published on the spoilage, quality
such as low temperature, pH and water activity (aw ), smoking, assessment and shelf life of raw fish caught from northern seas,
thermal treatment, preservatives, etc.1 Fish and seafoods are very the Mediterranean Sea and tropical waters. Many studies have
perishable products. Seafoods spoil easily owing to microbial, also been carried out on processed fish products preserved
enzymatic or chemical activities.2 However, fresh fish spoil mainly by the combined application of salt, acid, smoking, heating,
owing to microbial action. The high water content and non-protein etc., which can be characterised as traditionally preserved fish
nitrogen concentration and relatively high pH of fresh seafoods products. However, to our knowledge, there has been no study to
renders them sensitive to microbial attack.3,4 compare microbial spoilage aspects and shelf life in respect of the
Various preservation treatments are used to extend the preservation hurdles applied.
shelf life of fish. These treatments inhibit and/or inactivate The aim of this study was to provide data on spoilage and shelf
micro-organisms. Apart from refrigeration under air or modified life for a large number of fish products preserved by traditional
atmosphere packaging, salting, acidification, drying and smoking methods and to compare the effects of the hurdles applied on the
(cold or hot) in various combinations can prevent fish spoilage microbial spoilage and shelf life of these products.
and extend their shelf life.2 The application of such methods leads
to traditional products with exceptional organoleptic properties

and extended shelf life.5 Microbial populations found in these Correspondence to: Ioannis S Boziaris, Department of Ichthyology and Aquatic
products are predominantly lactic acid bacteria and yeasts.6 Environment, School of Agricultural Sciences, University of Thessaly, Fitokou
Street, GR-38446 Nea Ionia, Volos, Greece. E-mail: boziaris@uth.gr
Products that are produced by curing (which includes salting,
acidification, fermentation, smoking, preservatives and combina- a Department of Ichthyology and Aquatic Environment, School of Agricultural
tions thereof) can be classified as lightly preserved, semi-preserved Sciences, University of Thessaly, Fitokou Street, GR-38446 Nea Ionia, Volos,
or heavily salted.6 Lightly preserved fish products have a low salt Greece
content (<60 g kg−1 NaCl) and a pH above 5.7 These products, e.g.
b Laboratory of Microbiology and Biotechnology of Foods, Department of Food
cold-smoked and various marinated products, are usually ready to
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Science and Technology, Agricultural University of Athens, Iera Odos 75,


eat, packed in low oxygen or vacuum and stored at refrigeration GR-11855 Athens, Greece

J Sci Food Agric 2013; 93: 1184–1190 www.soci.org 


c 2012 Society of Chemical Industry
Shelf life of processed seafood products www.soci.org

Table 1. Traditionally preserved fish products used in study and treatments they received. All products were packed in plastic packages filled with
sunflower oil
Marination
(acid g L−1 , Salting (NaCl solution NaCl in final
acidification Initial pH of g L−1 , salting duration, product Thermal
No. Product duration) final product solution/product ratio) (g kg−1 ) Smoking treatment

1 Salted bonito (lakerda) 5.95 Saturated, 5 days, 2 : 1 61


2 Salted anchovies 5.50 Saturated, 7 days, 2 : 1 133
3 Marinated anchovies Acetic 60, 1 h 4.10 160, 1 h, 1 : 1.5 37
4 Marinated sardines Acetic 70, 1.25 h 4.10 60, 1.25 h, 1.5 : 1 19
5 Marinated cod Acetic 70, 1 h 4.85 90, 1 h, 1 : 1 17
6 Marinated herring Acetic 70, 2.5 h 4.48 95, 2.5 h, 1 : 1.5 19
7 Cold-smoked herring 5.95 170, 1 h, 2 : 1 27 Cold (27 ◦ C)
fillet with pickled
vegetables
8 Cold-smoked cod 6.00 200, 45 min, 1 : 1 27 Cold (27 ◦ C)
9 Cold-smoked swordfish 5.71 200, 4 h, 2 : 1 47 Cold (27 ◦ C)
10 Cold-smoked mackerel 6.21 200, 2 h, 2 : 1 39 Cold (27 ◦ C)
fillet
11 Cold-smoked mackerel 5.90 200, 1 h, 2 : 1 30 Cold (27 ◦ C)
fillet with pepper
12 Cold-smoked perch Citric 30, 1 min 5.90 200, 1 h, 1 : 1 27 Cold (27 ◦ C)
13 Hot-smoked trout Citric 30, 1 min 6.10 170, 1 h, 2 : 1 29 Hot (68 ◦ C, 15 min)
14 Cooked and Acetic 60, 1 min 5.50 170, 1 h, 2 : 1 22 Cold (27 ◦ C) 80 ◦ C, 45 min
cold-smoked mackerel
15 Cooked and hot-smoked Acetic 60, 10 s 5.50 200, 2 h, 2 : 1 31 Hot (60 ◦ C, 15 min) 80 ◦ C, 45 min
cero (small mackerel)
16 Cooked marinated Acetic 60, 20 min 4.43 30, 25 min, 1 : 1 12 80 ◦ C, 2 h
octopus with green
olives
17 Cooked marinated Acetic 60, 20 min 4.50 30, 25 min, 1 : 1 13 80 ◦ C, 2 h
octopus with pickled
vegetables

EXPERIMENTAL 1 g L−1 peptone) and homogenised for 60 s in a stomacher (Bug


Processed seafood products Mixer, Interscience, London, UK). Samples of 0.1 mL of the tenfold
The products were manufactured and provided by a leading serial dilutions were spread in duplicate on the surface of dried
seafood industry in Greece. The products, processes and hurdles media in Petri dishes for enumeration of (a) Pseudomonas spp. on
applied (smoking, thermal treatment, pH and NaCl concentration) CFC agar incubated at 20 ◦ C for 48 h, (b) Brochothrix thermosphacta
are shown in Table 1. All products were packed in plastic packages on STAA agar incubated at 25 ◦ C for 72 h, (c) yeasts and moulds
with sunflower oil. The products were stored at 4 ◦ C on arrival at on rose bengal/chloroamphenicol (RBC) agar incubated at 25 ◦ C
the laboratory. for 72 h and (d) staphylococci on BP agar incubated at 37 ◦ C for
24 h. Furthermore, 1 mL samples in duplicate were used as poured
Microbiological media and chemicals plates for enumeration of (a) total viable count (TVC) on plate
All microbiological media were supplied by Lab M (Heywood, count agar (PCA) incubated at 20 ◦ C for 72 h, (b) H2 S-producing
UK), apart from cetrimide/fucidin/cephaloridine (CFC) agar, which bacteria on IA incubated at 20 ◦ C for 72 h (counting black colonies
was supplied by Oxoid (Basingstoke, UK), and streptomycin only), (c) lactic acid bacteria on de Mann–Rogosa–Sharpe (MRS)
sulfate/thallous acetate/cycloheximide (actidione) (STAA) agar agar incubated at 25 ◦ C for 72 h, (d) Enterobacteriaceae on violet
and Baird–Parker (BP) agar, which were supplied by Biolife Italiana red bile/glucose agar (VRBGA) incubated at 37 ◦ C for 24 h and
Srl (Milan, Italy). All chemicals were supplied by Sigma-Aldrich (e) total coliforms on violet red bile agar (VRBA) incubated at 37 ◦ C
(Steinheim, Germany). Iron agar (IA) was prepared according to for 24 h.
Gram et al.9 by mixing 20 g L−1 peptone, 3 g L−1 meat extract,
3 g L−1 yeast extract, 3 g L−1 ferric citrate, 0.3 g L−1 sodium Sensory analysis
thiosulfate, 5 g L−1 NaCl, 0.6 g L−1 L-cysteine and 20 g L−1 agar Product quality was assessed by ten trained panellists according
and adjusting the mixture to pH 7.4. to a methodology described by Dalgaard et al.10 A hedonic
scale with three categories was used. Class 1 corresponded to
Microbiological analysis high-quality products without any off-odour or off-flavour or
For microbiological analysis, two packs of each product were discolouration, class 2 corresponded to products that had slight
opened and two 10 g samples from each pack were taken off-odour or off-flavour or discolouration but were still acceptable,
aseptically. The 10 g samples were transferred to stomacher bags and class three (rejection) corresponded to products that had
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with 90 mL of maximum recovery diluent (MRD; 8.5 g L−1 NaCl, unacceptable off-odour or off-flavour or discolouration. The shelf

J Sci Food Agric 2013; 93: 1184–1190 


c 2012 Society of Chemical Industry wileyonlinelibrary.com/jsfa
www.soci.org IS Boziaris, AK Stamatiou, GJE Nychas

Figure 1. Sensory score changes of cold-smoked herring fillet with pickled


vegetables during storage at 4 ◦ C. Each data point is the mean score of ten Figure 2. Microbial population changes (TVC, •; lactic acid bacteria, ;
panellists. The vertical line shows the shelf life defined as the point when yeasts, ) of cold-smoked herring fillet with pickled vegetables during
50% of the panellists (five out of ten) rejected the product. storage at 4 ◦ C. Each data point is the mean of four determinations
(n = 2 × 2). The vertical line shows the shelf life defined by organoleptic
evaluation.
life was defined as the point when 50% of the panellists (five out
of ten) rejected the product. predominant spoilage micro-organisms at the end of shelf life
were lactic acid bacteria and yeasts. The microbial spoilage level
(MSL), which is the level of specific spoilage organism (SSO) at the
Statistical analysis
time of rejection, ranged from 3.9 to 8.2 log CFU g−1 (Table 3).
Microbial populations were expressed as mean log colony-forming
The causes of spoilage were off-flavours/off-odours, apart from
units (CFU) g−1 ± standard deviation (SD) of n = 2 × 2 = 4
marinated cod and herring, where the products were rejected
replicates. Cluster analysis was performed using STATISTICA 6.0
owing to oil discolouration (Table 3). The pH of the products did
(StatSoft, Tulsa, OK, USA) between initial pH, salt content and shelf
not change significantly during storage (Table 3).
life of the product to determine any relation between these two
The results of cluster analysis between initial pH, NaCl
intrinsic factors and shelf life. Single linkage and Ward’s method concentration and shelf life are shown in Fig. 3. Both single
were used with the Euclidean distances to group individuals based linkage and Ward’s method with the Euclidean distances gave
on the different parameters. the same product grouping. It can be seen that there are two
main clusters. The first cluster comprises products 3, 4, 15,
16 and 17 (marinated anchovies, marinated sardines, cooked
RESULTS and hot-smoked cero, cooked marinated octopus with pickled
Typical graphs of sensory score and microbiological population olives and cooked marinated octopus with pickled vegetables
changes during storage of one of the products (cold-smoked respectively). The products of the first cluster have long shelf
herring fillet with pickled vegetables) are shown in Figs 1 and 2 lives (120–180 days), while their initial pH values were below
respectively. This product was rejected after 81 days of storage at 5.5 (Tables 1 and 3). The second cluster comprises the rest of
4 ◦ C (Fig. 1). At this time point, TVC had reached a level of about 6.2 the products, with shelf life shorter than 120 days and initial
log CFU g−1 , while MRS and RBC counts were about 6.0 and 5.3 log pH higher than 5.5, with the exception of marinated herring
CFU g−1 respectively (Fig. 2). The other spoilage bacterial groups, and marinated cod, where the initial pH values were 4.48 and
i.e. Pseudomonas spp., H2 S-producing bacteria, B. thermosphacta, 4.85 respectively. The second cluster can be divided into two
Enterobacteriaceae, total coliforms and Staphylococcus spp., were subclusters. The first subcluster comprises products 1, 2, 9, 10
below detection limit. and 11 (salted bonito, salted anchovies, cold-smoked swordfish,
Microbial populations at the beginning of storage and the cold-smoked mackerel fillet and cold-smoked mackerel fillet with
end of shelf life for all products are presented in Table 2. Initial pepper respectively), with shelf life between 90 and 120 days
TVCs were low, ranging from below 2 to 3.5 log CFU g−1 . and salt content greater than 30 g kg−1 (Table 1). The second
TVC increased during storage, in many cases reaching levels subcluster comprises products 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13 and 14 (marinated
higher than 6 log CFU g−1 , apart from marinated anchovies and cod, marinated herring, cold-smoked herring fillet with pickled
sardines, where TVC was reduced below the detection limit of vegetables, cold-smoked cod, cold-smoked perch, hot-smoked
10 CFU g−1 (Table 2). H2 S-producing bacteria, B. thermosphacta trout and cooked and cold-smoked mackerel respectively). These
and Enterobacteriaceae populations were below detection limit products have a short shelf life (66–75 days) and a salt content
throughout the experiment (data not shown). Staphylococcus spp. less than 30 g kg−1 (Tables 1 and 3).
and total coliforms were not detected initially or during the The initial pH of the product seems to play a primary role in
experiment (data not shown). shelf life. Indeed, products of the first cluster had exceptionally
The main spoilage micro-organisms of fresh fish, namely long shelf lives. Marinated products with initial pH as low as 4.10,
Pseudomonas spp. and H2 S-producing bacteria, were in most such as marinated anchovies and marinated sardines, had a shelf
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cases below detection limit throughout storage (Table 2). The life of up to 180 days (Table 3). In these two products the low pH

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Table 2. Initial and final microbial populations (mean log CFU g−1 ± SD of n = 4 replicates) of traditionally preserved fish products stored at 4 ◦ C

TVC Lactic acid bacteria Yeasts Pseudomonas spp.

No. Product Initial Final Initial Final Initial Final Initial Final

1 Salted bonito (lakerda) 3.2 ± 0.1 4.4 ± 0.2 <1 <1 <2 4.3 ± 0.2 <2 2.7 ± 0.1
2 Salted anchovies 3.3 ± 0.1 4.3 ± 0.3 <1 <1 2.8 ± 0.2 3.9 ± 0.2 2.9 ± 0.1 <2
3 Marinated anchovies <1 <1 <1 <1 <2 <2 <2 <2
4 Marinated sardines 2.9 ± 0.2 <1 <1 <1 <2 <2 <2 <2
5 Marinated cod 2.7 ± 0.1 7.9 ± 0.4 2.6 ± 0.1 7.7 ± 0.4 3.2 ± 0.2 5.9 ± 0.2 <2 <2
6 Marinated herring 2.7 ± 0.2 5.3 ± 0.3 2.7 ± 0.2 5.0 ± 0.2 2.8 ± 0.1 5.1 ± 0.1 <2 <2
7 Cold-smoked herring fillet with pickled vegetables 3.3 ± 0.2 6.2 ± 0.2 2.6 ± 0.1 6.0 ± 0.3 3.0 ± 0.2 5.3 ± 0.3 <2 <2
8 Cold-smoked cod 2.3 ± 0.2 6.5 ± 0.3 <1 6.2 ± 0.2 <2 5.4 ± 0.2 <2 <2
9 Cold-smoked swordfish 2.3 ± 0.2 5.0 ± 0.1 <1 3.3 ± 0.2 <2 4.9 ± 0.2 <2 2.3 ± 0.3
10 Cold-smoked mackerel fillet 2.8 ± 0.2 5.4 ± 0.2 <1 <1 2.3 ± 0.2 5.0 ± 0.2 2.5 ± 0.2 3.1 ± 0.1
11 Cold-smoked mackerel fillet with pepper 3.5 ± 0.4 5.7 ± 0.3 2.9 ± 0.2 5.5 ± 0.3 <2 <2 <2 <2
12 Cold-smoked perch 3.2 ± 0.3 8.2 ± 0.3 2.5 ± 0.1 8.2 ± 0.5 2.3 ± 0.3 5.0 ± 0.2 <2 <2
13 Hot-smoked trout <1 7.3 ± 0.3 <1 6.8 ± 0.2 <2 <2 <2 <2
14 Cooked and cold-smoked mackerel <1 8.0 ± 0.4 <1 7.4 ± 0.3 2.3 ± 0.2 3.6 ± 0.2 <2 3.3 ± 0.2
15 Cooked and hot-smoked cero (small mackerel) 3.1 ± 0.2 4.8 ± 0.2 <1 <1 <2 4.9 ± 0.3 2.4 ± 0.2 2.7 ± 0.2
16 Cooked marinated octopus with green olives 2.5 ± 0.1 4.2 ± 0.3 <1 <1 2.5 ± 0.2 4.1 ± 0.2 <2 <2
17 Cooked marinated octopus with pickled vegetables 3.2 ± 0.1 5.0 ± 0.2 <1 <1 3.0 ± 0.1 5.0 ± 0.3 <2 <2

value of 4.10 caused the microbial populations to decline below herring respectively (Table 3). However, the cause of spoilage in
detection limit (Table 3). Products with initial pH between 4.4 these two products was oil discolouration, which might be due to
and 5.5, such as cooked and marinated octopus and cooked and chemical oxidation of lipids rather than microbial metabolites.
hot-smoked cero, had a shelf life of 150 days (Table 3). In these Salt content seems to determine the shelf life of products with
products, microbial growth was inhibited, presumably owing to initial pH above 5.5 (products of the second cluster). Products with
the low pH. Indeed, the MSL was below 105 CFU g−1 (Table 3). high salt content, such as salted bonito (61 g kg−1 NaCl) and salted
Nevertheless, in marinated herring and marinated cod, despite anchovies (133 g kg−1 NaCl), and all cold-smoked products with
their low pH values of 4.48 and 4.85 respectively, shelf life was no more than 30 g kg−1 NaCl (cold-smoked swordfish, cold-smoked
higher than 70 days (Table 3). In these two products, yeast and mackerel fillet and cold-smoked mackerel fillet with pepper) had a
lactic acid bacteria managed to grow, reaching population levels shelf life ranging from 90 to 120 days (Table 3). In salted anchovies,
as high as 7.9 and 5.3 log CFU g−1 in marinated cod and marinated salted bonito, cold-smoked swordfish and cold-smoked mackerel

Table 3. Shelf life duration, cause of spoilage, specific spoilage organism (SSO), microbial spoilage level (MSL) and pH change of traditionally
preserved fish products stored at 4 ◦ C

Predominant
Shelf life micro-organism MSL (log
No. Product (days) Cause of spoilage (SSO) CFU g−1 ) pH change

1 Salted bonito (lakerda) 103 Off-odour/off-flavour Yeasts 4.3 −0.04


2 Salted anchovies 121 Off-odour/off-flavour Yeasts 3.9 +0.01
3 Marinated anchovies 180 Off-odour/off-flavour – – −0.05
4 Marinated sardines 170 Off-odour/off-flavour – – −0.10
5 Marinated cod 66 Oil discolouration LAB 7.7 −0.23
6 Marinated herring 70 Oil discolouration LAB/yeasts 5.0/5.1 +0.07
7 Cold-smoked herring fillet with pickled vegetables 81 Off-odour/off-flavour LAB 6.0 −0.75
8 Cold-smoked cod 73 Off-odour/off-flavour LAB 6.2 −0.31
9 Cold-smoked swordfish 110 Off-odour/off-flavour Yeasts 4.9 −0.20
10 Cold-smoked mackerel fillet 102 Off-odour/off-flavour Yeasts 5.0 −0.11
11 Cold-smoked mackerel fillet with pepper 102 Off-odour/off-flavour LAB 5.5 −0.02
12 Cold-smoked perch 73 Off-odour/off-flavour LAB 8.2 −0.12
13 Hot-smoked trout 73 Off-odour/off-flavour LAB 6.8 −0.30
14 Cooked and cold-smoked mackerel 75 Off-odour/off-flavour LAB 7.4 +0.45
15 Cooked and hot-smoked cero (small mackerel) 150 Off-odour/off-flavour Yeasts 4.9 −0.03
16 Cooked marinated octopus with green olives 150 Off-odour/off-flavour Yeasts 4.1 −0.02
17 Cooked marinated octopus with pickled vegetables 150 Off-odour/off-flavour Yeasts 5.0 −0.13
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J Sci Food Agric 2013; 93: 1184–1190 


c 2012 Society of Chemical Industry wileyonlinelibrary.com/jsfa
www.soci.org IS Boziaris, AK Stamatiou, GJE Nychas

Figure 3. Cluster plot using single linkage and Euclidean distances of 17 products according to initial pH, salt content and shelf life.

fillet the SSOs were yeasts, while in cold-smoked mackerel fillet the products as a result of poor hygiene conditions, cross-
with pepper the SSOs were lactic acid bacteria. The MSL was below contamination from personnel and other sources, etc. Salmonella
105.5 CFU g−1 in all cases (Table 3). and Staphylococcus aureus can survive for long time in seafoods
Finally, products with less than 30 g kg−1 NaCl, such as cold- with low aw .19,20 Enterobacteriaceae and S. aureus can also
smoked cod, cold-smoked perch, cold-smoked herring fillet, withstand low pH for quite a long time during storage of marinated
hot-smoked trout and cooked and cold-smoked mackerel, had Pacific saury.7 The very low populations of total coliforms and
a shelf life ranging from 73 to 81 days (Table 3). Lactic acid bacteria S. aureus (below detection limit) found in our products confirm the
were the SSOs with MSL above 106 CFU g−1 in all cases (Table 3). good hygiene conditions during manufacturing and imply that
These products were lightly preserved, allowing micro-organisms the possibility of the presence of enteric pathogens is very low.
to grow and reach levels that can cause microbial spoilage. However, it is well established that pathogenic micro-organisms
can adapt and develop resistance to hurdles such as low aw
and pH,21 and ready-to-eat seafood products have also been
DISCUSSION associated with listeriosis outbreaks.22 To document the safety of
The differences found in moisture and NaCl contents, aw , pH, such products, a different experimental design is required, but this
smoking intensity, etc. of processed fish products definitely was not among the aims of the present work.
affect their shelf life.11 Shelf lives higher than 150 days have The selection of spoilage microbiota was affected by low pH
been reported for products such as marinated sardines12 and and NaCl content. Spoilage of fresh fish is caused by metabolic
salted anchovies,13 while for other traditional products such as activity of micro-organisms such as Pseudomonas spp. and
salted bonito (lakerda) the shelf life was about 90 days.14 Lightly Shewanella putrefaciens.3 However, in our products the SSOs
preserved products such as cold-smoked salmon had a shelf were lactic acid bacteria and yeasts. It is widely accepted that
life shorter than 50 days.15 – 17 The shelf life of cold-smoked fish hurdles such as low pH and aw inhibit the spoilage Gram-
varies with species, degree of smoking and salt content.16,17 negative microbiota, while they favour the growth of lactic acid
Smoking and/or heat treatment did not affect the shelf life of our bacteria and yeasts.23 As the intensity of preservation hurdles
products, at least not to the extent that pH and salt content did. It is increased compared with fresh fish, changes from Gram-
seems that these processes, especially heating and hot smoking, negative bacteria to lactic acid bacteria and yeasts have been
enhance the reduction in initial microbial load but do not affect recorded.24 Lactobacillus spp. were the predominant microbiota
the growth of the remaining microbial populations, which are in marinated anchovies, sardines and pacific saury,7,18,25 and
inhibited by the intrinsic properties (pH and NaCl content) only. Lactobacillus alimentarius was the SSO in marinated herring.26
Indeed, Kilinc and Cackli18 found that pasteurisation did not Lactic acid bacteria were the main spoilage microbiota of salted
affect the shelf life of sardine marinades stored at 4 ◦ C, while anchovies,27 cold-smoked trout28 and salmon,17,29 while yeasts
increased salt content extended the shelf life of cold-smoked were found in salted bonito.14 Other micro-organisms have
salmon.17 also been reported as part of the spoilage microbiota, such as
Traditionally, processed seafoods are ready-to-eat products, Enterobacteriaceae, staphylococci and halophilic pediococci in
so microbiological safety is of great concern. Staphylococci salted anchovies.27,30 Enterobacteriaceae and B. thermosphacta
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and enteric pathogens such as salmonellae might contaminate together with Lactobacillus spp. and yeasts have been reported in

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cold-smoked salmon,15,17,29 while Micrococcus spp. together with REFERENCES


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