<OL> <LI> Determine the utilization and optimization of handling practices and processing technologies and applications to improve the quality and safety of seafood processed in Louisiana. <LI>Investigate risk assessment and control strategies and programs for food safety hazards in Louisiana seafood. <LI> Support seafood safety extension activities through HACCP validation studies and research for Louisiana seafood processors.
Food safety control and quality improvement programs are critical to safeguard consumer protection from foodborne illnesses associated with seafood products and to assure the viability of the seafood industry in Louisiana. This program investigates post-harvest handling and processing methods to improve quality and safety of seafood products important to the Louisiana seafood industry, which includes diverse organisms such as shrimp, oysters, finfish, crawfish, and alligators.
Quality Improvement of Finfish Fillets Utilizing Combined Carbon Monoxide and Ozone Treatments (Objective 1) -- Bacterial enumeration (TPC analysis), LAB color spectroscopy, pH and sensory analysis will be investigated to determine the effectiveness and compatibility of CO treatment followed by ozone (O3) treatment of finfish fillets. <p>Optimization of Ozone Treatment of Louisiana Seafood to Improve Product Quality, Safety, and Shelf Life (Objective 1) -- Project research activities are separated into two sequential components: antimicrobial effects and optimization of ozonated water applications and safety and shelf life studies. The first component consists of developing processing apparati and techniques to obtain quantitative measurements and physical interactions of ozonated water application. Once these techniques are developed, measurement of microbial destruction and rancidity development of various ozonated water application techniques will be investigated. The second component will involve selecting an optimal process application method based on microbial destruction ability and then using this method to process shrimp and conduct inoculated Listeria destruction studies and extended shelf life studies measuring chemical, microbial, and sensory indicators of product quality. <p>Product Characterization To Advance The Use Of Post-Harvest Treatments For Raw Oysters (Objective 1) -- Project research efforts to establish the initial trained sensory panel and establish the sensory characterization for raw oysters have been initiated at the University of Florida and Mississippi State University. Once this goal is accomplished and the sensory characterization is completed, these results and research product will be validated by use and transfer of this technology to the Seafood Technology Program at LSU Ag Center and at Oregon State University. This collaborative research approach will allow coordination among the four different university researchers to provide valuable and usable applied research results and tools for the domestic oyster industry. <p>Ecology and control of pathogenic strains of Vibrio vulnificus and Vibrio parahaemolyticus in U.S. Gulf Coast oysters (Objective 2) -- Identify typical industry practices, and measure critical environmental parameters, in oyster harvest and handling through the time the product leaves the primary receiving location. Both V. vulnificus and V. parahaemolyticus risk characterizations demonstrate that log concentration, time unrefrigerated, water temperature, and duration of cool down are all influential parameters in risk of illness from the consumption of both Gulf Coast and Louisiana oysters. In this process, we will (A) implement survey documents; (B) measure critical environmental parameters; (C) collect water and shellfish samples for analysis in Objective 2; and (D) collect data for production of time/temperature handling profiles (curves).