We investigated the effect of nitrogen gas packaging (NGP) on the odor, lipid oxidation, and browning of yellowtail fish meat during cold storage. NGP decreased the browning of yellowtail dark muscle (DM) and prevented lipid oxidation in DM during storage. NGP also suppressed the increase in volatile compounds, mainly generated from DM, in yellowtail fish meat during storage. Principal component analysis (PCA) of volatiles showed that the samples of DM after storage in air were clearly separated from the other samples by PC1. Many volatiles such as (E, E)-2,4-hexadienal had higher PC1 factor loadings and their increases in stored DM were repressed by NGP. As determined by gas chromatography–olfactometry, the number of odors sensed from DM after storage in nitrogen gas decreased compared to those before storage. Although, the sensory scores of all evaluated items of DM after storage in air increased significantly, those of DM stored in nitrogen gas showed no significant increase after storage. These findings indicate that NGP is effective for preventing the quality deterioration (odor change, lipid oxidation, and browning) of yellowtail fish meat during cold storage.
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