Fish and seafood can be a pain to store because it spoils faster than any meat products such as beef or chicken. But why does is spoil quickly and how can a vacuum packer be helpful to prevent this?
Oxidation & Bacterial Growth
There are two main factors that contribute to a food product spoiling; oxidation and bacterial growth. Oxidation of fish products is where proteins present in the muscle tissue of the fish gradually break down into amino acids. These fish amino acids, unlike those in meat, can have a powerful smell and taste. This is the reason why fish that has just been caught does not have that typically fishy smell. Fish flesh also contains a higher amount of unsaturated fats which turn rancid as they are exposed to oxygen. Eventually, these amino acids and rancid fats can eventually become overpowering in the fish flesh leading to a bad taste. In addition, enzymes that are already in the fish and bacteria or fungi that is already present in the air also degrade the fish flesh. As soon as a fish is removed from the cold temperatures of the water to the warm air, the bacteria and enzymes are able to work more efficiently and degrade the fish much faster than they would if they were in colder conditions.
Remove the Air
The reason that vacuum packing is so useful for storing fish, however, is that all of these processes that can spoil fish require oxygen. Vacuum packing removes the air that surrounds the fish before storing meaning that air-breathing bacteria can no longer survive to degrade the fish, and oxidation of the fish flesh is prevented. Consequently, the shelf life of fresh fish can be extended by up to 5 times by vacuum packing allowing you to keep the fresh fish taste and avoid your fish from spoiling too quickly.