Contrasting effects of two storage temperatures on the microbial, physicochemical, and sensory properties of two fresh red seaweeds, Palmaria palmata and Gracilaria tikvahiae
The effects of two storage temperatures, 2 and 7 °C, were investigated on the quality changes of fresh red seaweeds, Palmaria palmata and Gracilaria tikvahiae. Microbial, sensory, and physiochemical properties of the seaweeds were evaluated during 2 weeks of refrigerated storage. The results indicated that the causes and rates of quality loss were species specific, with P. palmata deteriorating faster at 7 °C compared to at 2 °C. In contrast, G. tikvahiae quality was better maintained at the higher storage temperature. As cellular damage increased in the seaweeds during storage, increased drip loss and the subsequent deterioration in texture and color contributed to quality loss in both seaweed species. Microbial counts in P. palmata ranged from 3 to 5 log CFU g−1 throughout storage, whereas G. tikvahiae microbial counts reached over 7 log CFU g−1 by the end of storage. Drip loss, sensory evaluation, and instrumental color results proved to be reliable whereas instrumental texture and soluble protein did not yield consistent, valuable data. Growing interest in minimally processed foods provides an opportunity to promote seaweeds as fresh vegetables. The results of this study provide groundwork to monitor seaweed quality during refrigerated storage and to facilitate marketing and distribution of freshly harvested P. palmata and G. tikvahiae.
KeywordsRhodophyta Quality loss Storage Palmaria palmata Gracilaria tikvahiae Fresh
This project was funded by the USDA Value Added Producer Grant program GLS494606226. We are thankful to Maine Fresh Sea Farms (MFSF) for providing funds and fresh seaweeds. This project was supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Hatch Project Number ME0-21410 through the Maine Agricultural & Forest Experiment Station. Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station Publication Number 3611.
Compliance with ethical standards
Approval for research with human subjects was obtained from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to conducting sensory analyses.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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