The present study was performed to evaluate the effect of sodium chloride, refrigeration and nitrate/nitrite mixture on mycological status of salted fish. Four groups of salted fish (Mugil cephalus) were prepared in the laboratory using 10% salt, 10% salt plus refrigeration, 10% salt plus nitrate/nitrite mixture or 20% salt. Samples of fish from each group were taken at zero, 5, 10, 15, 20 days and ripening point interval and were analyzed for their pH values, NaCl concentrations and mycological status. The pH values showed a general increasing trend in the four groups of samples from the initial value of 6.1 to different final value for each group. Similarly, the NaCl concentrations showed an increasing trend throughout the experimental period from the zero day until the ripening point. The mycological evaluation revealed that a total number of 27 genera, 63 species and one species variety in addition to some unidentified species of yeasts and sterile mycelia were isolated from fish samples. Adding a mixture of nitrate/nitrite was effective in reducing the total number of fungi. On the other hand refrigeration and increasing the concentration of salt used in salting from 10 to 20% had inconsistent effect on the total number of fungi.
Salted fish, fungi, sodium chloride, nitrate/nitrite, refrigeration