Seniorforsker John-Erik Haugen har utviklet en innendørs tørkeprosess som gir god kvalitet på tørrfisken og effektiv tørking - året rundt.
Senior researcher John-Erik Haugen has developed an indoor drying process that provides good quality stockfish and efficient drying – throughout the year. Photo: Reidun Lilleholt Kraugerud

Project Year 2015

Can produce stockfish indoors

It takes around four months to produce stockfish outdoors on racks. Now, high quality stockfish can be produced indoors – in less than a month.

Exporter Nordahl Anthonisen from Athena Seafoods AS in Bergen sought stable quality in stockfish, and had an idea for a new drying process where the result is not dependent on the outdoor weather and temperature. Senior researcher John-Erik Haugen at Nofima developed his original idea. The stockfish has been approved by sensory assessors in Italy.

“My dream was to be able to control the conditions in which the fish was dried, so that we can sell exclusively good prima quality stockfish to Europe,” says Anthonisen.

That dream seems about to come true with the aid of Nofima. The stockfish exporter linked relevant SME companies and research institutions in Europe with the Nofima researcher in an EU project.

In his lab at Ås, John-Erik Haugen has developed an indoor drying process that provides high quality stockfish and efficient drying. In addition to using the traditional raw material, his starting point was optimal weather conditions for traditional outdoor drying.

The Italian gastronomy company Il Ceppo has 80 years of experience with stockfish. They have assessed the look and smell of the indoor-dried fish. Il Ceppo has also carried out local consumer surveys in Italy where indoor and outdoor produced stockfish have been subjected to blind tests, based on traditional Italian dishes.

“These first tests indicate that the pilot product maintains high quality,” says Haugen.

A patent has been filed for the method.

The purpose of this type of EU project is to stimulate innovation in small and medium-sized businesses, as well as collaboration with research institutions in order for innovations to be realized both domestically and in other countries. The EU thus provided full economic support for this R&D project. The SME in the EU project contributed labour and had their expenses covered.

Now Nofima and Athena Seafoods are working together to develop the concept with an aim of commercialization and industrial scaling and implementation.

Top quality throughout the year is one of the ambitions.

Gastronomy company Il Ceppo, Athena Seafoods AS


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