Retail fresh sushi is gaining popularity in Europe. This study was conducted to investigate the microbiological quality of selected samples of fresh sushi with a shelf life of 2 to 3 days offered as complete meals in Norwegian supermarkets. Analysis of aerobic plate counts in 58 sushi samples from three producers revealed large variations in microbiological quality, and 48% of the analyzed sushi boxes were rated as unsatisfactory (> 6.0 log CFU/g). Mesophilic Aeromonas spp. was detected in 71% of the samples. In a follow-up study, we collected products and raw materials directly from the production facility of one producer and observed a significant decrease (P
A comparative evaluation on the effect of carbon dioxide (CO2 ) on quality and shelf life of Atlantic salmon loins pasteurized with microwave and conventional technology was conducted. The experimental design allowed CO2 to enter the salmon muscle before (soluble gas stabilization [SGS] + vacuum) or after pasteurization (CO2 emitter + vacuum), whereas the control samples (vacuum only) were not presented for CO2 . This setup resulted in six different groups; three heated with microwaves and three with conventional pasteurization. The core temperature of microwave samples was 58.8 ± 2.2 °C, whereas the surface temperature was equal to the oven temperature (62 °C) during conventional pasteurization and close to the core temperature during microwave pasteurization (57.6 ± 1.4 °C). Microwave-heated samples showed higher microbial growth; decreased shelf life; and darker (lower L* -value), more reddish (higher a* -value), and yellowish (higher b* -value) colors compared to conventional-heated salmon. Lowest liquid loss (LL) was observed in salmon packaged with the CO2 emitter, whereas a SGS step prior to pasteurization did not affect the LL negatively as compared to samples packaged in vacuum only. Treatment with CO2 , independent of the prestep using SGS or an emitter, resulted in increased shelf life. Protein denaturation, microbial growth, product color, product shelf life, and sensory properties of the salmon loin were significantly affected by the applied pasteurization method (microwave- or conventional pasteurization). However, the heat load was probably too high to detect differences resulting from the pretreatment using SGS or packaging with CO2 emitter. PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Recent developments with increased time pressure from both work and past time activities have led to a tremendous increase in the demand for convenient, tasty ready-to-use food options. Furthermore, contemporary trends for consumption of fresh or lightly processed seafood stress the need to develop processing methods that allow a fulfillment of these demands, while still offering a reasonable shelf life. Carbon dioxide in combination with either microwave or conventional pasteurization is innovative processing technology that can meet consumer's demand of such products.