Packaging technique to extend the shelf life of fish
Antimicrobial technology developer Parx Materials has created a technique to keep fish fresher for longer.
The technique uses the trace element zinc, which occurs naturally in products such as oysters, red meat and green vegetables.
But unlike other antimicrobial additives that use metals that can seep into the product, Parx Materials developed a way for the zinc to become part of the packaging material without escaping or leaking out.
Due to this mechanism, the company claims the technique is safe and healthy as the element does not escape from the packaging and cannot end up on the product.
The effect of the technique can be compared to the way in which the skin makes people resistant to bacteria and viruses from the outside.
As with minerals in the skin, the elements in the packaging are designed to ensure that bacteria cannot adhere to these surfaces. Bacteria are not killed, but by preventing adhesion, there is no accumulation or colony of bacteria on the surface. For most bacteria, attachment is necessary to enable them to take in food and to multiply. Without attachment, no new bacteria will appear and the bacteria already present will simply die according to their normal life cycle, which is an average period of about three to four hours.
Martijn Spilt, who works at Maxima Seafood, a processor of fresh fish from the Dutch port city of Ijmuiden, said: “In the organoleptic tests that we carried out, the fish in the packaging with this technique turned out to receive the highest quality scores after 12 days. In particular, the total absence of fragrance and leakage fluid was remarkable. In addition, the product had a better colour and gloss compared with the pieces packed in foil without technology.”
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