Fresh fish on your iPhone

5. May 2011

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An iPhone app from Nofima will assist fishmongers to evaluate how fresh a batch of fish is. The app was launched Wednesday at the European Seafood Exposition in Brussels.

The app is free and is aimed at fishmongers and others wanting to evaluate the shelf life of whole gutted fresh fish.

The freshness of the fish may be evaluated via a few steps, including odour, texture and the appearance of the eyes, skin and gills. The final result appears immediately.

“With the aid of competent seafood research, we have a good basis for being the leading seafood nation in the world. We can increase the export value first and foremost through innovation and development. This app is a good example of applied research,” says the Managing Director of the Norwegian Seafood Export Council, Terje Martinussen.

He was the first person to test the new app when it was launched at the large European Seafood Exposition in Brussels on Wednesday.

Best method

“This method is the best tool available today to assess freshness. You don’t need to know how old the fish is as this method calculates the remaining shelf life of the fish,” says Project Manager Joop Luten from Nofima.

The app is based on the Quality Index Method (QIM), a standardised method for evaluating the freshness of fish, which was developed by scientists from several European research institutes and is now used worldwide. Until now users worldwide have downloaded the manual via the internet, but the new app makes it even easier to use this method.

“It is extremely important that fish maintains high quality through the entire production chain, from catch and slaughter through to production, transport and the shop shelves. The app may be used to check the fish throughout the whole chain, providing the fish is raw, fresh and whole,” says Luten.

Several species

For the time being salmon, cod and plaice may be checked using the app, but this will in time be expanded to include other species, including haddock, redfish, shrimps and saithe.

The “How fresh is your fish?” app is available in 11 languages including Norwegian.

Even though this method was initially intended for use in the fisheries industry, it may also be used for teaching and at seafood counters in supermarkets. For the time being it is mostly used by the industry, at scientific institutions and inspection authorities.

The app is free and available to anyone with an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

Seafood industry  

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