Rapid, field-deployable method for determination of seafood decomposition by compact mass spectrometry



Compact mass spectrometry, Seafood Decomposition, Portable devices, Rapid Analysis


Seeking alternatives to sensory which can be performed in non-laboratory field environments has been a recent emphasis in regulatory assessment of seafood decomposition.  To this end, an international sampling effort produced samples of 23 different seafood products, which were subjected to controlled decomposition of varying levels on ice. This produced samples of each product for a wide range of decomposition states, and these were scored by a sensory expert on a standard 1-100 scale. Samples were then analyzed by a novel technique involving headspace analysis and compact mass spectrometry. The mass spectrometry data was used to create computer models, guided by the sensory data, to generate a calculated score analogous to a sensory score. Models based on a training set of samples were then used to calculate scores for a test set, and accuracy was assessed by comparing these calculated scores to original sensory data. Calculated scores agreed with sensory findings with respect to overall decomposition state for 96.3% of samples (n=547), with seven false positive (1.3%) and 13 false negative (2.4%) findings. Reproducibility was also assessed via triplicate analysis on separate days for low, middle, and high decomposition states. All sample ranges for these replicates were within 20 points, with 89% (n=66) within 15 points, 73% within 10, and 35% within five. Given the performance of the method, along with the small form factor and manageable operation requirements of the instrument as well as simplicity of sample preparation, this appears to offer a potentially useful technique for field testing of seafood decomposition.


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