Cooling characterization and practical utilization of sub-micron slurry ice for the chilling of fresh seafood Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/8049g809g

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  • Consumption of seafood products continues to grow each year, but post-harvest losses and inedible seafood waste remain as high as 25%. Ice-based systems are the most common form of preservation to increase shelf life, preserve product quality, and enhance product safety. Slurry ice is a type of chilling media, consisting of a biphasic system of ice crystals suspended in water, which has been demonstrated to preserve product quality over traditional forms of chilling due to the smaller ice crystals providing a greater rate of heat transfer. Sub-micron slurry ice (S-MIS) is a type of slurry ice with crystals 400-700 nm in diameter, as compared to the 100-900 μm crystal diameter of other slurry ice systems. The purpose of this research was to characterize the cooling process of S-MIS compared to chilled seawater (CSW) and to practically challenge the chilling system by conducting a shelf-life study using an underutilized marine resource known for quality complications. The first phase was to determine proper handling practices of S-MIS and to compare S-MIS ice against a form of chilling currently in practice in the seafood industry (CSW). Different ice-to-fish rations were examined (1:1, 1.5:1, and 2:1) and whether the S-MIS should be allowed to drain, effectively making the slurry ice a single-phase system. Single fish were also stored in 10:1 ice-to-fish ratios to determine a hypothetical ‘best-case’ chilling scenario. Results indicated that product chilling must be considered in two phases: initial chilling and sustained temperature management. Removing the liquid phase of S-MIS increased the product storage time over non-drained S-MIS and CSW; and each handling technique of S-MIS cooled the product faster, to a lower temperature, and for a longer period of time than CSW. Based on the results of the first phase, it was hypothesized that S-MIS would improve the shelf-life of arrowtooth flounder over CSW. Fish were chilled for 48 h in either S-MIS or CSW, then held for up to 15 d at 4 °C. Chemical, microbiological, and odor decomposition methods were used to determine quality after the 48 h storage in the chilling media and every fifth day of storage at 4 °C. Results indicated that arrowtooth flounder degradation is more complex than expected because K-values indicated spoilage at d 0, while the d 0 fillets were deemed acceptable by every other test. In this scenario, S-MIS did not improve shelf-life of arrowtooth flounder. It is recommended that further studies should focus on storage of fish in ice directly after catch and/or the utilization of fish with better-known quality degradation.
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