Fisheries Technological Research in the Gulf of Mexico by the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries

The research function at the Pascagoula Technological Laboratory is described. The staff, the equipment, and the microbiology and chemistry programs are briefly discussed. Biochemical studies of fish and shellfish are a major program at the laboratory. The deterioration of fresh iced shrimp was studied recently by following the increase in pH, analyzing the amino acid, hydroxyproline, and evaluating the variation in the nitrogen values of fractions eluted by different solvents. Microbiological studies accompanied the biochemical studies. Daily total plate counts demonstrated the increase in microorganisms as the shrimp became less acceptable as a food. Fluctuations in the types of organisms present were shown to be related to the changes that took place in the iced environment as the salinity--and the marine bacteria--decreased. Microscopic studies on histological sections of the shrimp flesh showed that collagen in the connective tissue deteriorated as tissue integrity was lost. Bacterial invasion of the tissue accompanied destruction by the enzymes. The study has culminated in an Industry-Government Symposium, where research results will be presented.

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