Keywords: 2-DCB, 2-dodecylcyclobutanone, irradiation dose, shelf life, TPC, total plate count, frozen chicken, ionising radiation, food safety, food quality, storage period, traceability
Assessment of shelf-life of irradiated frozen chicken
Food irradiation is the process of exposing food to controlled source of ionising radiation for the purpose of reduction of microbial load, destruction of pathogens and extension of product shelf-life. Detection and measurement of irradiation dose in food are an essential element of food safety and quality. This study aimed to estimate shelf-life of chicken samples which have been stored frozen for up to 12 months (at −18 ± 1° C) after being irradiated at 7 kGy (food and drug administration recommended dose) using gamma rays. Simple detection methods were employed in this experiment; the determination of 2-dodecylcyclobutanone and evaluation of the total plate count. The combined use of these two methods (chemical and microbial) enabled successful identification of the dose applied and accurate estimation of storage period (shelf-life) of frozen chicken samples. The reported results are promising and can possibly advocate; quality, safety and traceability of irradiated foods particularly at the retailer's shelves.