Microbiology Of Fish And Fish Product

Powerful Essays
Department of Food Science and Technology
College of Agriculture and Food Science
Visayas State University
Baybay City, Leyte

Microbiology of Fish and Fish Products

Introduction:

Fish is a major staple food in most parts of the world and are second only to meat as the major animal protein in most diets. Whilst foods such as ‘meat’ form relatively well -defined groups of raw materials, ‘fish’ constitutes a large range of types (some sources recognise over 20,000 identified species), caught over a wide range of conditions (from the arc-tic/Antarctic to the tropics, fresh or salt water and harvested both from ‘wild’ and ‘farmed’ environments).

If we move away from the raw material itself, fish are made into a wide range of ‘added value’ products from high cost traditionally smoked chilled fillets, to lower cost frozen breaded fish fingers. Fish products are preserved using almost every food processing technique that has ever been develop(drying, smoking, freezing, canning, fermenting, high pressure processing), and of course, there is the increasing trend towards the consumption of high quality raw fish in the form of sushi. All of this variety does of course mean that the microbiology of fish and fish products is complex and can cover a wide range of both quality and safety related issues. Initially, in the microbiology of raw fish will be considered.

Freshly caught fish Microorganisms are found on all of the outer surfaces and within the intestine of live fish. Skin may contain 102-106 organisms per cm2, whilst the gills and intestine can contain 103-109 organisms per cm2. The bacterial loading on freshly caught fish tends to reflect the environment from which it was caught, rather than the fish species; those from cold clean waters carry a lower load than those from warm waters. After catching and death, the microflora may begin to change due to the differing environmental conditions. Usually fish are stored on ice, which will clearly reduce temperature

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