David Milne, Shane M. Powell
National Centre for Marine Conservation and Resource Sustainability, University of Tasmania, Locked Bay 1370, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
This study examined the dynamics of microbial growth in fresh chilled Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) packed in a modified atmosphere. Atlantic salmon were harvested, handled, transported, and processed under optimal conditions to produce skinless fillet portions packed in pouches containing 96% CO2 at gas: product ratios of greater than 5:1 (v/w) and stored for 38 days at less than 1 °C. Microbial analysis was conducted using psychrotrophic and mesophilic plate counts and DNA-based techniques. Results revealed initial microbial counts at day 0 of 102 CFU g−1 and sequences from the genera Luteimonas, Pseudorhodoferax, Aequorivita, Gillisia, Gramella, Micrococcus, Acidovorax and Achromobacter. An extended lag phase was observed of 10 (psychrotrophic) or 15 (total) days with total plate count numbers reaching 106 CFU g−1 after 21 (psychrotrophic) and 25 days (total) and stabilising at 108 CFU g−1 after 31 days. At 31 days the microbial community was dominated by Pseudomonas spp. as determined by identification of isolates and sequencing of a 16S rRNA gene clone library. No Photobacterium spp., including the specific spoilage organism Photobacterium phosphoreum, were identified during the study.