Using QIM – the “Quality Index Method” - Nofima is putting top quality on the agenda in the seafood industry. Photo: Lars Åke Andersen

Project Year 2015

Top quality on the agenda

Cermaq came to Nofima to learn how they could become even better at ensuring that salmon maintains high quality throughout its shelf life.

The standardized method the Cermaq employees were trained in is called QIM – the “Quality Index Method”. The method has been developed by Nofima’s researchers in cooperation with researchers from a number of European countries.

The standardized method is available for a number of species, including cod, haddock, herring, saithe, redfish and shrimps.

Cermaq is the world’s third largest producer of salmon and trout, with operations in Norway, Canada and Chile. Nofima has cooperated with Cermaq for a number of years to measure the quality of their salmon. The scientists have taken measurements, and the company’s employees have conducted assessments in consultation with Nofima.

However, not all properties are equally easy to assess, and the method requires that the person performing the assessment is well trained.

“The course in question was tailored for Cermaq. However, we have created a training scheme that would be useful for the seafood industry in general,” researcher Torbjørn Tobiassen explains.

Among the topics covered by the course are shelf life, instrument measurements and the slaughter process. The participants are given both theoretical and practical exercises where they practice assessing the salmon.

Quality manager with Cermaq, Kristin Dahlen, says the course contributes to solving challenges for the company.

“We have slaughterhouses in several places and a large number of controllers. In order to compare data, we are dependent on using the same methodology and on having a common understanding of the various parameters we have to consider. The method we learn on the course is a good tool for ensuring this,” Dahlen says.

“We also learn how to communicate with customers with regard to freshness. Several of our customers use the same parameters to assess freshness, and it is a great benefit that we speak the same language,” she says.

Nofima organizes a number of courses, seminars and topical days on subjects that concern fisheries, aquaculture and the food industries.

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