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Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 2006 Jan;89(1):9-17. Epub 2006 Mar 10.

Correlation between microbial flora, sensory changes and biogenic amines formation in fresh chicken meat stored aerobically or under modified atmosphere packaging at 4 degrees C: possible role of biogenic amines as spoilage indicators.

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  • 1Laboratory of Food Chemistry and Food Microbiology, Department of Chemistry, University of Ioannina, GR-45110, Ioannina, Greece.


This study evaluated the formation of biogenic amines (BAs) in breast chicken meat during storage under aerobic and modified atmospheric packaging (MAP) conditions at 4 degrees C, the correlation of microbial and sensory changes in chicken meat with formation of BAs and the possible role of BAs as indicators of poultry meat spoilage. Poultry breast fillets were stored aerobically or under MAP (30%, CO(2), 70% N(2)) at 4 degrees C for up to 17 days. Quality evaluation was carried out using microbiological, chemical and sensory analyses. Total viable counts, Pseudomonads and Enterobacteriaceae, were in general higher for chicken samples packaged in air whereas lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and Enterobacteriaceae were among the dominant species for samples under MAP. Levels of putrescine and cadaverine increased linearly with storage time and were higher in aerobically stored chicken samples. Spermine and spermidine levels were also detected in both aerobically and MAP stored chicken meat. Levels of tyramine in both chicken samples stored aerobically and or under MAP were low (< 10 mg kg(-1)) whereas the formation of histamine was only observed after day 11 of storage when Enterobacteriaceae had reached a population of ca. 10(7) CFU g(-1). Based on sensory and microbiological analyses and also taking into account a biogenic amines index (BAI, sum of putrescine, cadaverine and tyramine), BAI values between 96 and 101 mg kg(-1) may be proposed as a quality index of MAP and aerobically-packaged fresh chicken meat. Spermine and spermidine decreased steadily throughout the entire storage period of chicken meat under aerobic and MAP packaging, and thus these two amines cannot be used as indicators of fresh chicken meat quality.

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