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The influence of irradiation preservation on the nutritive value of fish and fishery products
Shewan, J.M. (1962). The influence of irradiation preservation on the nutritive value of fish and fishery products, in: Heen, E. et al. Fish in nutrition. pp. 207-219
In: Heen, E.; Kreuzer, R. (1962). Fish in nutrition. Fishing News (Books): London. XXIII, 447 pp., more

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  • Shewan, J.M.

    Fish and fishery products were among the fust foodstuffs to be tested by the irradiation preservation technique. Of the many products that have now been examined, none has stood up to the doses necessary for commercial sterility, mainly because of the production of undesirable odour, flavour and colour changes. Pasteurization, particularly in conjunction with so-calIed "combination techniques" such as the use of antibiotics, antioxidants and blanching, appears to be much more promising, and most of the research work now in progress is confined to this aspect of the technique. Even with pasteurization, however, it is clear that there are considerable differences in the results obtained, depending mainly on the species or type of food irradiated. In general, fatty fish give much less satisfactory products than non-fatty species, owing to the development of rancid and other off-flavours in the fats and lipid components, while in species such as salmon and tuna the pigment is either destroyed or so altered as to make the product unacceptable in appearance. On the other hand some products, such as blanched oysters, cod, lemon sole, smoked cod and cooked crab meat, stand up well. The type of container (whether plastic or tin, etc.), the presence or absence of oxygen or of an inert gas such as nitrogen, and the temperature of the foodstuff during irradiation, all affect the suitability of the product for irradiation. Pasteurizing doses can generally effectively reduce the bacterial load, particularly on the raw products, and consequently there is often a considerable extension of the shelf life of the product at chilI or room temperatures as compared with the controls. However, there are various discrepancies in the extension times claimed by various workers ; but these are almost certainly due to the different organoleptic standards used. Anyhow, on the basis of such extensions, many believe that by the use of irradiation the market for certain fish and fishery products could be considerably expanded. Nutritionally, fish in general are looked upon as being valuable sources of proteins, minerals and certain vitamins such as thiamine, niacin and vitamin A. All the available evidence seems to show that irradiation, even at much higher doses than those used for pasteurization, does not seriously impair the food value of the fish flesh. Moreover, feeding trials and other data so far have shown no indication of any toxic or carcinogenic component being present in irradiated fish flesh.

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