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Several sensory assessment methods have been used in the UK over the years including the Torry Sensory Assessment scheme, the European E-A-B scheme and the Quality Index Method. Sensory assessment schemes use the physical characteristics of raw seafood to determine a score indicating the freshness quality of the seafood. Schemes are developed using seafood that has been produced according to good manufacturing practice. This makes it possible to identify the ‘days on ice’ of seafood i.e. how fresh it is. This document provides copies of available Torry Assessment and QIM schemes and may be updated when new schemes become available.
Seafood is highly perishable, this means that unless there has been an intervention which changes the physical nature of the product, such as freezing, cooking, drying, smoking or canning, fresh seafood products will continually deteriorate in quality over time. Visual and physical changes effect the consumer’s perception of the product to the eventual point where it would be considered unappealing or even inedible. This briefing note is aimed at businesses that catch, process, buy, sell or trade fresh seafood products; it seeks to improve the understanding of those factors that cause the natural deterioration of seafood products due to spoilage, and to ensure that businesses are able to mitigate and remediate those changes as far as possible to ensure that the maximum storage lives for their products are achieved.