Role of package type on shelf-life of fresh crab meat

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Food Protection Trends

Microbiological quality of fresh (not pasteurized) crab meat stored at 4°C in a 340 g (12 oz) food grade polyethylene traditional snap-lid container and equally fresh crab meat stored at 4°C in a 227 g (8 oz) SimpleStep® tray sealed with Cryovac™ film (oxygen transmission rate of 10,000 cc/m2/24 h) was evaluated over a 12-day period. Aerobic plate counts were conducted on storage days 0, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12. Anaerobic plate counts were conducted on storage days 0, 5 and 12. Aerobic plate counts of crab meat from the two containers did not differ (P > 0.05). Analysis of anaerobic microbial growth indicates that sampling days were significant (P < 0.05), but container type or style was not significant (P > 0.05). Oxygen and CO2 in the package headspace was significantly different between container types (P < 0.05). Gas concentration between sampling days was not significant (P > 0.05). Results of this study demonstrate that there were no significant differences in refrigerated shelf life of crab meat packaged in SimpleStep® trays with Cryovac™ film versus the traditional polyethylene snap-lid container packaging (P > 0.05).