Changes of sensory attributes of carp steaks (Cyprinus carpio) packaged in vacuum and modified atmosphere
Consumers rate fish based on a number of parameters, the most important of which are the consumption safety, nutritional characteristics, taste, smell, color, texture, convenience for culinary processing and preservation. The shelf-life of fresh chilled fish can be extended by vacuum or modified atmosphere packaging. During the past decade, mixtures of gases with high concentrations of carbon dioxide and nitrogen have attracted the attention of researchers, who have been investigating packaging of fish. The aim of this research was to monitor changes of selected sensory parameters of common carp (Cyprinus carpio) steaks packaged in modified atmosphere and vacuum during storage at 3±0.5˚C and to determine the shelf-life of the products. Sensory evaluation was conducted on 1, 4, 7, 9, 12 and 15 days of storage. Different gas mixtures as well as vacuum packaging did not significantly affect the changes in color and meat texture of carp steaks, and they remained characteristic until the end of the experiment. The freshness and acceptability of fish was most influenced by the average ratings of odor. The shelf-life of carp steaks packaged in the gas mixture consisting of 60% CO2 and 40% N2 (MAP1) was 12 days, while samples packaged in a mixture of gases with 40% CO2 and 60% N2 (MAP2) were acceptable for 9 days. The shelf-life of carp steaks packaged in vacuum was 7 days. The gas mixture consisting of 60% CO2 and 40% N2 proved to be the most suitable for packaging fresh carp steaks regarding the selected sensory characteristics of odor, meat texture, meat color and overall acceptability.