2007/708 Predicitve and rapid diagnostic technologies for the seafood industry: A literature review
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2007/708 Predicitve and rapid diagnostic technologies for the seafood industry: A literature review

By Kenneth Dods and Allen Bremner


This study comprised a literature review of predictive and rapid diagnostic technologies for the seafood industry. Predictive technologies are becoming well established in the food industry to deal with issues of safety, spoilage and shelf-life. The Seafood Shelf-life and Safety Predictor (SSSP), available as freeware, is most commonly used for seafoods throughout the globe. However, information on specific spoilage organisms (SSO) under Australian conditions is lacking and it is therefore not clear which particular organisms, conditions or compositional characteristics are critical to minimise spoilage losses. The use of the concept of icedays (equivalent days in ice) for expressing transit periods, shelf-lives and storage periods could greatly improve communication and understanding along the production chain and the use of the Quality Index, which is consistent with icedays, similarly could improve understanding and aid in troubleshooting.


A multiplicity of rapid diagnostic techniques were considered and discussed. Some of the techniques show considerable promise as they can either replace time-consuming classical analyses, reduce analytical sampling amounts, times and preparation and can provide results not previously possible at location. Of the analytical techniques, the use of near-infrared spectroscopy and the electronic nose hold out promise of being able to rapidly measure basic properties and changes in property attributes or classes of indicator compounds. Similarly colour, vision systems and image measurement using digital cameras and other optical devices also can be applied to sort, classify, grade, indicate parasites and identify many other useful properties.


The aim to enable more diagnostics to be done on-site can be related to a desire for more accurate, functional and timely application at the boat, farm, processor, store or distributor where immediate decisions can be made, this is counter argued by the need for systems that provide regulatory compliance and achieve acceptable detection limits for critical chemical measures and the need for highly reproducible results and scientific understanding when establishing new degradation or quality models. Issues of quality chain management and how diagnostics fit into the chain structure were also raised.