Can cooling remove codworm?

Codworm in cod mussel can at times be a problem for the fisheries industry. Some fishermen believe that codworm in cod placed in ice and seawater try to escape to the intestines, as this is the last part to be cooled.

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Scientists in the project carried out by Nofima Marin have studied whether cooling of the whole fish leads to the codworm trying to escape from the actual fish fillet.

Codworm not visible in whole fish

A lot of cod is packed and sold whole, head-off. It can be a major quality-related problem if you cannot see and/or remove codworm in the fish. This project has studied whether it was correct that the codworm tried to escape from the fish fillet when the fish was cooled, as no reports from such studies have documented this.

Many things tried

Several different cooling trials have been carried out over a 24-hour period. The scientists logged the temperature in the fish (in the fillet, under the skin and in the centre of the intestines).

"The purpose was to find out whether and how the codworm in different parts of the fish reacted to different temperatures and time," says Head of Project Torbjørn Tobiassen.

The parasitic nematodes are calm chaps

The project has amongst other things concluded that the codworm moves relatively slowly and becomes less active at lower temperatures. Consequently, it is highly unlikely that the level of parasitic nematodes in cod mussel can be reduced by cooling.

More detailed information about methods and processes can be found in report no. 7/2009 "Codworm in cod during cooling of non-gutted fish. Can cooling in ice and seawater be utilised as a method to remove parasitic nematodes?"

This report is in Norwegian language only.

This project is financed by the Fisheries and Aquaculture Industry Research Fund and the Norwegian Fishermen’s Sales Organisation.

Seafood industry  

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