Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Food Microbiol. 1996 Nov;33(1):19-33.

Chemical/biochemical detection of spoilage.

Author information

MATFORSK, Norwegian Food Research Institute, Aas, Norway.


Although sensory and/or microbiological analyses are widely relied on when assigning shelf-life of foods or trouble shooting problems with spoilage under storage, they do have drawbacks. Delay in obtaining results is one of them. The expense of the expert panels required to obtain meaningful sensory evaluations is another, while spoilage is not always of microbial origin. Even when it is, there are an increasing number of situations, including that of meats and fish packaged in modified atmospheres, where the relationships between microbial growth and spoilage onset is poorly defined. Chemical analysis has long been recognized as a means of circumventing at least some of the drawbacks and its potential is reviewed below. From the data presented it can be concluded that chemical characterization of spoilage processes is presently of most value in trouble shooting i.e. establishing the causes of spoilage. Its value in assigning total or remaining shelf-life requires more knowledge of the chemical processes leading to reduced acceptability/spoilage and of their correlations with sensory and microbiological changes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center