Research – Irradiation as a Promising Technology to Improve Bacteriological and Physicochemical Quality of Fish



Fish is an excellent source of protein and other essential minerals and vitamins; nevertheless, several food-borne disease outbreaks have been linked to the consumption of different types of fish. Therefore, we aimed to overcome these health threats by evaluating gamma radiation as a good fish preservation method. The aerobic plate count (APC), identification of most common pathogenic bacteria, organoleptic properties, proximate composition, and other chemical evaluations were detected in both untreated and gamma-treated fish. The overall grades of organoleptic evaluations ranged from good to very good. Fortunately, the overall chemical analysis of all examined fish samples was accepted. For the untreated fish samples, the APC was within and above the permissible limit (5 × 10CFU/g). Pathogenic bacteria were detected with a high prevalence rate, especially S. aureus, which was found in high percentages among examined untreated fish samples. Regarding the treated fish samples, APC and pathogenic bacterial counts were reduced in a dose-dependent manner, and the irradiation at dose 5 KGy resulted in complete eradication of the aerobic plate count (not detectable) with a mean reduction percentage equal to 100%. However, gamma irradiation has no significant effect on proximate composition; particularly, carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids were not significantly affected by low and medium doses of radiation. Therefore, gamma irradiation is a highly effective fish preservation method without any effect on fish quality. Additionally, gamma irradiation as a cold process is an attractive technology for solving the problem arising from fish-borne pathogens, and it has been purposed in this study as a cheap and safe method for reducing microbial contamination of fish.

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