Limit growth of ice crystals under different temperature oscillations levels in nile Tilapia
Abstract The degenerative effect of temperature fluctuations during storage time is a critical condition that needs to be quantitatively characterized in products where drip losses are appreciable. In this work, real storage conditions were reproduced using freezers modified to cause 3 levels of temperature fluctuation (± 0, ± 3, ± 5; ± 7) during storage of Tilapia (Oreochromis sp), at temperature of –18 °C. The fast frozen tilapia muscle (freezing cabinet) was chosen to quantify the growth of ice crystals according to temperature fluctuations. The identification of crystals in the optical microscope as well as histological treatments and measurements using specific software has shown that the growth of ice crystals in the first days of storage follows an asymptote, whose final value is conditioned only by the level of temperature fluctuations regardless of initial diameter, which begins storage. It has also been found that the growth of crystals formed during rapid freezing rapidly develops according to temperature fluctuations to which the product has been subjected. This work also identified statistically significant differences in the equivalent diameter of crystals formed at the four proposed levels of temperature fluctuation with significance level of p < 0.05.