To determine the effect of delayed heading on shrimp quality, shrimp were stored on ice with and without heads for 10 days. Some shrimp were delay-headed after 5 days and returned to ice for the remainder of the storage period. Microbiological studies were conducted at 0, 5 and 10 days of storage. Total aerobic plate counts were done using Standard Plate Count agar with an added 0.5% NaCl. Incubation was at 20 C for 5 days. Analyses indicated similar counts on shrimp tails stored with or without heads and those delayed-headed. Counts ranged from 2.4 × 106 bacteria/gram at 0 day to 1.6 × 109 bacteria/gram on the 10th day. Identification of the flora present revealed that the same major groups of organisms predominated on shrimp tails subjected to the different storage treatments and the head did not alter development of the usual flora. Flavobacterium, Pseudomonas, Planococcus, Moraxella and the Vibrio/Aeromonas group were the major genera encountered. A shift in bacterial populations was observed during storage. Flavobacterium species predominated during the first 5 days of storage; however, after the fifth day Pseudomonas species predominated. Sensory panel data revealed no differences in acceptability between shrimp tails stored with or without heads and those delay-headed.

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Author notes

1Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations Journal Series No. 1413.