Success on several fronts for Strøm cod

After about six months on the market, the sales of Strøm cod have exceeded all expectations. Now the cod loin has been nominated for the award that is considered to be the Oscar of the seafood industry – the Seafood Prix d’Elite in Brussels.

The cod loin from Saltstraumen is slaughtered, filleted, and packed within four hours of swimming in the sea. In addition to the quality of the fish itself, the processing hygiene, packing method, and design are all important success factors.

Good stable quality
The aquaculture company Codfarmers spent several years developing this award-winning cod loin – aquaculture, slaughtering, packing, and distribution have all been optimized. Several research institutions, including Nofima and researcher Anlaug Ådland Hansen, have helped them in this development.

Nofima joined the process early in the development of Strøm, with its expertise in packaging and in the quality and shelf life of raw fish.

“The aim of the research has been to adapt the packaging to the product so as to achieve the best possible quality and shelf life,” Anlaug Ådland Hansen explains. “We have investigated various quality parameters. Our panel of sensory assessors and our microbiological methods (traditional as well as newer DNA-based methods) have both been used to discover what processing and packaging best maintains quality, so that customers can rely on good, stable quality every time they buy Strøm.”

“The objective – offering the consumer a fresh cod product that still looks and smells totally fresh 10 days after slaughtering and packing – has been a great challenge,” says Codfarmers’ Marketing Director Henrik Andersen. “As far as I know, nobody else has succeeded with this before. This of course places rigorous demands on production hygiene, but we would never have managed it without the insight into how best to use the opportunities offered by packaging technology. Participation in the Marinepack project has been absolutely decisive.”

Successful collaboration between research, product development and design
Nofima’s research work on Strøm cod was done through the Marinepack 2010 project, which was financed by the Research Council of Norway (co-financed by the Food Programme, BIA, and Smartrans). Østfoldforskning, which led the project, contributed environmental documentation of packaged product based on their solid research competence in this area. Other project participants included packaging suppliers Tommen Gram, packing machinery suppliers Multivac and the design bureau Work.

“This project is a good example of how research, product development and design can collaborate and run in parallel towards an actual product launch,” Anlaug Ådland Hansen adds. “The group that has been working on the project consists of people with extensive expertise in different areas, and that has been important for success. This project now stands as a good example of how research expertise can be given a very specific commercial application. This has been a very inspiring project, and of course it is especially satisfying that the venture has been crowned with a nomination for Seafood Prix d’Elite.”

Food safety and quality  

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