Better and firmer salmon

Nofima Marin, in collaboration with the salmon industry, is embarking on a large-scale project to secure improved quality of salmon fillet all the way to the consumer.

Contact person
Portrettbilde av Karsten Heia
Karsten Heia

Senior Scientist
Phone: +47 412 12 127
karsten.heia@nofima.no

Contact person
Portrettbilde av Turid Mørkøre
Turid Mørkøre

Senior Scientist
Phone: +47 930 37 001
turid.morkore@nofima.no

The measures will be primarily aimed at farming and harvesting conditions that are of significance to the end product. The project, financed by the Fisheries and Aquaculture Industry Research Fund (FHF), seeks to reduce loss by adopting advanced technology.

Collaboration with the industry

The research already has strong roots in the industry through a preliminary project that charted and selected problem areas in which it is important to find solutions. In the preliminary project, “Quality improvement of salmon from breeding to fork”, the following areas were drafted:

  1. The most critical quality challenges for the Norwegian salmon industry. Where in the value chain does the deterioration occur and what is the cause?
  2. Quality parameters that can be emphasised in order to differentiate products in the future

This project will mostly focus on:

  1. Melanin spots (black/grey pigment spots) in the fillet
  2. Pale and uneven fillet colour
  3. Fillet gaping/soft muscle
  4. Evaluating technology for bone detection

What is good quality?

There is no unambiguous definition of “good quality”, and different product properties are emphasised differently depending on what the market wants and application etc. In order to increase added-value in the salmon industry, it is important to have common objectives and measurable criteria that provide answers about what pose the greatest quality challenges. This project aims to find where any possible quality defects occur and suggest measures that should be implemented to avoid these.

The way forward

Experiments designed to uncover conditions that contribute to melanin spots and pale and uneven fillet colour was started in the autumn of 2009. The first results, which will cover the significance of work with vaccination and breeding, will be available in the spring of 2010. Further, the project has studied the significance of smoking methods (temperature, smoking and drying time) on colour development and texture. Despite making the necessary arrangements for efficient and consistent registration of quality variations, Nofima will commence statistical processing of historical registrations of downgraded fillet.

Scientists Turid Mørkøre and Karsten Heia from Nofima Marin have written an in depth article on this project, which was published in Norsk fiskeoppdrett no. 3/10

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