Anchovies are a very labile fish and deteriorate fast under chilling conditions. In the South of Spain, fishing boats land their catches in wooden boxes with ice (12 to 14 kg). For some years now, fish processors have prepared this species for market distribution by placing about 7 kg fish in expanded polystyrene (EPS) boxes containing water and ice. Then, in the distribution market, boxes are dewatered and re-iced. Transportation of the fish in EPS boxes containing water and ice was recently forbidden on the grounds that boxes for transportation of fish in ice must have holes to let melted ice drain away. In this paper, the effect of preserving the anchovy in water and ice from landing to the distribution market was studied and compared with the more traditional methods of storing the fish in ice in either wooden or EPS boxes. Physical, chemical, microbiological, and sensory analyses were carried out over three different storage trials to account for the effect of seasonality. Little differences were found among lots, but some of the parameters showed that fish transported in water and ice did present less spoilage than fish stored in ice, especially when compared to the wooden boxes. According to these results, chilling of this fish in water and ice can be used as an alternative preserving method during transport.

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