Effects of modified atmosphere packaging on microbiological load and physico-chemical properties of barramundi (Lates calcarifer Bloch) fillets at 8°C



Different modified atmosphere conditions with various CO2 concentrations on microbial load (psychrophile, mesophile aerobic and anaerobic bacteria) and physico-chemical properties of barramundi (Lates  calcarifer Bloch) fillets stored at 8°C were compared to determine the best packaging conditions. The gas conditions evaluated were 100% CO2 (M1), 75% CO2/25% N2 (M2), 50% CO2/50% N2 (M3), 25% CO2/75% N2 (M4) and 100% N2 (control). High CO2 concentration (M1 and M2) of fish fillets delayed the psychrophilic bacteria growth compared to low CO2 concentration (50% and 25% CO2) as well as the mesophilic, anaerobic and histamine forming bacteria. We concluded that the atmosphere with 75:25% and 100:0 (CO2:N2) had the most appropriate gas composition to inhibit the microbial growth and prolong the shelf life of barramundi fillets (p<0.05).