The importance of carnobacteria as spoilage microorganisms or potential protective cultures in food is not resolved, and little is known about their metabolism during growth in specific products. This study used chromatographic techniques including GC-MS and HPLC to evaluate the spoilage metabolism of Carnobacterium divergens, Carnobacterium maltaromaticum, and Carnobacterium mobile. Metabolic activity was studied in cooked and peeled modified atmosphere packed (MAP) shrimp at 5 degrees C as carnobacteria has been anticipated to contribute to spoilage of shrimp products. C. divergens and C. maltaromaticum caused sensory spoilage of shrimps and generated ammonia, tyramine, and various alcohols, aldehydes, and ketones. The effects of Carnobacterium species on the growth and metabolism of Brochothrix thermosphacta were also evaluated, but metabiosis between the two groups of bacteria was not observed. C. mobile and a specific cluster of C. maltaromaticum isolates (cluster L) did not cause sensory spoilage of shrimp.