More fish in catering
"We want to increase the amount of fish being used in ready meals in the HoReCa (hotel, restaurant and catering) sector. This will be done by developing attractive new fish dishes," says Jan Thomas Rosnes about a recently commenced project which he is managing.
Jan Thomas Rosnes is a researcher at Nofima Mat (formerly Norconserv) and project manager of the new InnovaFish project, which began in February this year and will run until 2010.
Issues with fish
The background to the project is feedback from the HoReCa industry that fish is difficult, in terms of both shelf life and sensory quality. At the same time, the fishing industry is concerned to get a better return on more of the fillet – not just the loin. Also, the proportion of hot meals being produced outside the home is increasing in western countries, while a recent report from the Ministry of Health and Care Services indicates that consumption of fish among the general population is low.
The project will address technological solutions in traditional sous vide, microwave and freezing technologies and adapt these to the production of fish dishes. The new methods to be tested are joining small pieces into portion sizes, brining and treatment with antioxidants. To increase distribution ratio, new quality-improving treatments will be used on fish to be frozen, either before or after heat treatment.
The trade wants reasonably priced products
Because of the price pressure being experienced by many large catering suppliers, making reasonably priced products is especially important. Special emphasis will be placed on using low-priced species like pollack and low-priced products of fish production, such as small pieces and off cuts.
The participants in the project are Vikomar, Aker Seafood, White Fish Qualitech, Domstein Enghav, Mic Vac, Bama, FMC Food Tech, Måltidets Hus, Sodexho, Medirest, Gastronomisk institutt and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. The project is supported by the Research Council of Norway, the Fishery and Aquaculture Industry Research Fund, the Norconserv foundation and the Foundation for Research Levy on Agricultural Products.