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J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Aug 28;50(18):5167-78.

Chitosan as an edible invisible film for quality preservation of herring and atlantic cod.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Canada A1B 3X9.


The effect of chitosan with different molecular weights as coatings for shelf-life extension of fresh fillets of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) and herring (Clupea harengus) was evaluated over a 12-day storage at refrigerated temperature (4 +/- 1 degrees C). Three chitosan preparations from snow crab (Chinoecetes opilio) processing wastes, differing in viscosities and molecular weights, were prepared; their apparent viscosities (360, 57, and 14 cP) depended on the deacetylation time (4, 10, and 20 h, respectively) of the chitin precursor. Upon coating with chitosans, a significant (p < or = 0.05) reduction in relative moisture losses of 37, 29, 29, 40, and 32% was observed for cod samples coated with 360 cP chitosan after 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 days of storage, respectively. Chitosan coating significantly (p < or = 0.05) reduced lipid oxidation as displayed in peroxide value, conjugated dienes, 2-thiobarbituric acid reactive substances and headspace volatiles, chemical spoilage as reflected in total volatile basic nitrogen, trimethylamine, and hypoxanthine, and growth of microorganisms as reflected in total plate count in both fish model systems compared to uncoated samples. The preservative efficacy and the viscosity of chitosan were inter-related; the efficacy of chitosans with viscosities of 57 and 360 cP was superior to that of chitosan with a 14 cP viscosity. Thus, chitosan as edible coating would enhance the quality of seafoods during storage.

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