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The investigation was carried out to evaluate the keeping characteristics of Mullet (
), Emperor (
and Tilapia (
) collected from Suva market in Fiji and stored immediately in ice (1:1) in an insulated box.
Another set of experiments were done with the same species but were kept at ambient temperature for four hours and then placed
in ice (1:1) in insulated box. Shelf life of fish was studied until the fish were rejected. Parameters assessed were organoleptic (QIM)
and biochemical (TVB-N, TMA and pH). Organoleptic results indicated a shelf life of 5-7 days for Mullet and Emperor while
shelf life of tilapia remained between 3-5 days. Initial (day 1) organoleptic score in both the experiments indicated that the fish
were of high quality (score =10). However, on the 3
day, organoleptic score abruptly reduced to 5 in Mullet and Emperor but
yet remained within the accepted shelf life. While organoleptic score for tilapia reduced to less than 5 on the 5
the shelf life to remain between 3 to 5 days. TVB-N scored showed a higher concentration on the 0th day for all the species
(more than 10 mgN/100g). But, on the 3
day TVB-N value decreased slightly and then increased progressively till the end of
experiment. At rejection time, TVB-N values were low (20 mg n/100g) compared to widely accepted value of 30-40 mgN/100g.
TMA and pH value showed a similar pattern. The experiment showed a new trend of shelf life of species being so low (3-5 and
7 days) as compared to other tropical species. Statistical analysis showed that delayed iced species were of better quality and had
longer shelf life in comparison to species stored in immediate icing. This trend is again a new finding in species in the Pacific
Island Countries as compared to other tropical countries. Further investigation is recommended with larger samples to confirm
the results of the present investigation.
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