Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Process Engineering, Biotechnology, Nutrition Technology
In order to evaluate the effects of vacuum-packing and storage in CO2 (100%), and N2 (100%) atmospheres on the quality of fresh rabbit meat, rabbit carcasses were stored in the dark at 0°C and 3°C for 50 days. Every 5 days, psychrotrophic bacteria and lactobacilli counts were obtained, and pH, water retention, texture, and color measured. Storage in CO2 maintained good microbiological quality, but caused a decrease in water retention capacity, which led to discoloration and toughening of the meat. On the other hand, storage under N2 atmosphere improved water retention and consequently organoleptic properties, but this advantage was nullified by lower microbiological quality. Due to the loss of water from the tissues, vacuum-packing resulted in changes of the organoleptic quality of the meat, similar to those observed by storage in a CO2 atmosphere. At refrigerated temperatures, a variation of 3 °C had a larger effect on bacteriological counts and tenderness than the outer quality parameters. Thus, a mixture of gases (CO2 and N2) having both the bacteriostatic properties of one and the organoleptic advantages of the other might be a better choice to optimize the shelf-life of rabbit meat.
Type of Medium: