Storage temperature of fish

 

Temperature is a very important factor with regard to quality and shelf life of fish. Low storage temperature is an important factor to maintain the quality of fish as long as possible. Even slight variations from proper storage temperature can result in shorter shelf life. It is important to keep fish as close to 0°C as possible before consumption. Increase in every degree of temperature above 0°C leads to more rapid microbial growth resulting in shorter shelf life. As an example, the shelf life of cod fillets at 0°C has been estimated 10-12 days, 5-6 days at 4-5°C and only 2-3 days at 10°C.

When fish is frozen, it should be done as quickly as possible and at a very low freezer temperature (below -20°C). Freezing in a freezer compartment of a refrigerator is slow and can have negative effects on the texture of fish. The longer fish is kept frozen, the more dry and tough it gets and off-odours and off-flavours tend to develop. Furthermore the surface of the fish gets drier resulting in white spots due to freeze damage.

When fish is thawed, it´s best to do it at a low temperature e.g. by let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator. After thawing, the fish should be stored as close to 0°C as possible. How long it keeps depends on the freshness before freezing.


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