Microbial and volatile amines changes during processing steps and storage in optimal and abuse temperatures of semipreserved cuttlefish and their efficiency for quality was investigated. After osmotic treatment the initial microbial contamination and the total volatile basic nitrogen (TVBN) decreased sharply. The microbiota changed to Gram positive bacteria in which species of Bacillus and Staphylococcus were dominant. Mesophilic and psychrotrophic microorganisms increased markedly especially in abuse storage temperature and consequently chemical substances derived from its activity as total volatile basic nitrogen and ammonia. Among these parameters, mesophilic and psycrotrophic counts higher than 104 and 105 cfu/g, respectively, and TVBN contents higher than 100 mg per kilogram (mantle) or per liter (brine) would indicate a rupture of cold chain. Spanish legal microbial limit established is not appropriate for quality evaluation of semi preserved cuttlefish. A value of ammonia in muscle cuttlefish higher than 130 mg/kg would be useful spoilage indicator.
Key words: Cuttlefish, semi preserved microorganisms, total volatile basic nitrogen (TVBN), ammonia, Trimethylamine (TMA), Sepia.
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