I dag går 85 prosent av norsk laks rund på vogntog ut til markedet i Europa. Målet er at det skal lønne seg å filetere laksen i Norge. I denne kassen er det kun laksefileter – superkjøling gjør at det ikke er nødvendig å fylle kassen opp med is. Foto: Jan Inge Haga/Nofima

Project Year 2016

Revolutionising Norwegian salmon exports

Stunning, gill-cutting, slaughtering, bleeding, filleting, refrigeration and packaging – all done in 20 minutes.

The ongoing research project Fillet-O may revolutionise Norwegian salmon exports.

“If we succeed and if the industry adopts the methods proposed by the project, it will be a game changer,” says Nofima researcher Bjørn Roth, who is heading and coordinating the potentially ground-breaking research project.

Significantly increased value Fillet-O, which stands for Fillet Only, is an interdisciplinary research project over four years, the aim of which is to rationalise salmon processing.

The goal is to process fish directly to fillets at a lower cost and with higher quality than through traditional slaughtering.

Today, some 85% of Norwegian salmon are transported to the international market as round fish. In the future the entire Norwegian salmon production will be filleted on Norwegian soil, creating significant added value.

“The next step is to prove that this is possible, that it is financially beneficial, and that it will benefit and develop the industry. If we succeed, this will definitely pay off,” says Bjørn Roth.

Parts of the industry are already involved as partners in the project.

Plus points

Fillet-O seems to have many plus points: better utilisation of the raw materials, value optimisation, improved animal welfare, better product quality, increased food safety and more efficient transport, yielding reduced costs and environmental benefits.

Production: The entire production process from pen to loading on to lorries takes place in one continuous chain and takes 20 minutes from the fish leaving the sea.

Energy and transport: If you were to sort the contents of 300 lorries containing salmon produced using the current methods, only 132 of them actually contain salmon fillet. 63 lorries contain only ice, and the remaining 105 lorries contain residual raw materials.

“By moving the ice from the crates to inside the fish using super-cooling, whereby a thin layer of ice forms on the fish, the transport of ice becomes superfluous. And if we keep the entire fish in Norway and process it here, we will have enough raw materials to start a whole new industry,” says Bjørn Roth.

New era

The project also aims to ensure improved quality, food safety, shelf-life and market dynamics. The project Fillet-O will end in 2017, and the conclusions will be presented. Bjørn Roth and his partners at home and abroad are already predicting the advent of a new era for Norwegian salmon exports.

Grieg Seafood, Cermaq Norway, SeaSide, Marel, Jackson and The Linde Group

The Research Council of Norway via the Bionær Programme

More useful research results