How does one achieve the best quality of fish that are frozen, stored and defrosted? This project will help scientists find the answers. Photo: Svein Kristian Stormo © Nofima

Fresk

Industrial production of fresh fish products – freezing, storage and defrosting

 Seafood industry  

This initiative will help Nofima acquire new knowledge on how to optimally freeze, store and defrost fish.

Time:1. January 2017 – 31. December 2020
Financed by: Nofima
Contact person
Portrettbilde av Svein Kristian Stormo
Svein Kristian Stormo

Scientist
Phone: +47 971 64 669
svein.stormo@nofima.no

Contact person
Portrettbilde av Torstein Skåra
Torstein Skåra

Senior Scientist
Phone: +47 450 15 281
torstein.skara@nofima.no

Main objectives

Contribute new knowledge by studying how freezing, storage and defrosting affects the quality and shelf life of seafood. The knowledge will be useful in optimising these processes with regard to quality, yield and costs.

Background

It is believed that the food manufacturer Birds Eye started the modern production of frozen fish in 1925, so it’s definitely not a new invention. However, the ‘frozen fish’ product category has traditionally been regarded as something other than ‘fresh fish’. Freezer counters contain many products that have a very long shelf life, and frozen fish is associated with low quality in many countries. Meanwhile, fresh fish has a limited shelf life. Most types of fresh fish do not possess a shelf life that is compatible with the wishes and needs of the retail trade. Fresh fish products have often passed their prime eating quality by the time they are available to buy in the shops.

Therefore, Nofima wants to investigate the opportunities that lie in optimal freezing, storage and defrosting. The aim is to create a ‘new’ category of frozen fish products that significantly stands out from current frozen products, preferably surpassing the level of quality that fresh fish has to offer today.

However, there are many issues here that are unresolved. What quality characteristics are required in order to stand out from current frozen products? How much is the customer willing to pay for these types of ‘premium’ products? What requirements must be met regarding the quality of raw materials, handling, freezing, storage and defrosting?

These correlations will be revealed through systematic work on the quality of raw materials, freezing speed, storage time/temperature and defrosting conditions. Furthermore, the required conditions will be applied to existing equipment and new technology. This means that fishing, industry and distribution chains gain a better foundation on which to improve and position their products in the market.

Progress and preliminary results

Conducted trials to study effects on fluid loss after freezing and defrosting vacuum-packed cod loins under various conditions, and cold storage at – 20 °C for a period of one year
Conducted several hyperspectral measurement trials on vacuum-packed cod loins. Based on these measurements, also conducted on frozen samples, we have been able to predict fluid loss .
Acquired lab-scale LIN freezers for freezing at temperatures down to – 100 °C. These freezers can also be used for shell freezing/supercooling.
Built thawing containers with temperature and flow rate control for defrosting blocks.

Conducted trials involving the rapid and slow freezing and defrosting of vacuum-packed mackerel fillets stored at two different temperatures, where we investigated the effect on fluid loss.
Conducted glazing trials on mackerel fillets using both water and water with added thickening agent. We recorded a change in weight after glazing and during cold storage.
Conducted trials on pre-rigor filleted cod, where we investigated the effect of cold storage time and temperature on contraction and fluid loss.

Stormo, S.K. Fryste torskeblokker kan tines med radiobølger, TekFisk juni 2020.

Stormo, Svein Kristian. Du tiner vel ikke torsken i kjøleskapet? Matkontrollen (TV 2) 2019-01-17

Skåra, T.; Stormo, S. K. Frossenfisk: Fra fremtidsmat til dårlig rykte – og tilbake igjen?. Fra fjord til bord – Blogg – forskning.no 2019

Stormo, Svein Kristian. Utsikt til mer gevinst fra frossen fisk. Nofima-seminaret “Verdens beste” – er det godt nok?, Nor-fishing 2018; 2018-08-21

Langsrud, Solveig; Stormo, Svein Kristian. Triksene som tiner maten riktig. coop.no 2017-09-07

Scientific publications

Anderssen, K.E., Syed, S., Stormo, S.K. 2020. Quantification and Mapping of Tissue Damage from Freezing in Cod by Magnetic Resonance Imaging (In press) Food Control.

Anderssen, K.E., Stormo, S.K., Skåra, T., Skjelvareid, M.H., Heia, K. 2020. Predicting liquid loss of frozen and thawed cod from hyperspectral imaging, LWT, Volume 133, 2020, 3.

Skåra, T., Stormo, S.K., Nilsen, H.A. (2019). Advances in Freezing and Thawing. Innovative technologies in seafood processing. F. Ozogul, CRC press: 27-44.

Washburn, K., Stormo, S.K., Skjelvareid, H.H, Heia, K. (2017). “Non-invasive assessment of packaged cod freeze-thaw history by hyperspectral imaging.” Journal of Food Engineering 205: 64-73.

Conference contributions

Stormo, S.K. og Skåra, T. Optimalisering av radiofrekvens tining av frossen H/G torsk. FHF Hvitfiskseminar (29.10.2020)

Stormo, S.K. Slik kan frossenfisk bli enda bedre, Nor-fishing 2020 (digitalt seminar 20.08.2020)

Stormo, S.K. Kalde fakta om fryselagring, Innlegg. Ombordfryst 2020, Ålesund (09.01.2020)

Stormo, Svein Kristian; Skåra, Torstein. Radiofrequency tempering of frozen blocks of cod. 13th International Congress on Engineering and Food; 2019-09-23 – 2019-09-26

Washburn, Kathryn Elizabeth; Stormo, Svein Kristian; Skåra, Torstein. Prediction of liquid loss from frozen and thawed cod by hyperspectral imaging. 13th International Congress on Engineering and Food; 2019-09-23 – 2019-09-26

Skåra, Torstein; Stormo, Svein Kristian. Thaw-rigor – Effect of freezing, storage and thawing on drip-loss and shrinkage in pre-rigor farmed Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) fillets. 32nd EFFoST International Conference 2018; 2018-11-06 – 2018-11-08

Stormo, Svein Kristian; Washburn, Kate; Skåra, Torstein. The effect of freezing rate, frozen storage and thawing rate on cod fillet – monitored by drip-loss measurements and hyperspectral imaging. 32nd EFFoST International Conference 2018; 2018-11-06 – 2018-11-08

Skåra, Torstein; Stormo, Svein Kristian. Thaw-rigor – Effect of freezing, storage and thawing on drip-loss and shrinkage in pre-rigor farmed Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) fillets. 32nd EFFoST International Conference 2018; 2018-11-06 – 2018-11-08

Washburn, Kathryn Elizabeth; Stormo, Svein Kristian; Skjelvareid, Martin Hansen; Heia, Karsten. Evaluating the freeze-thaw history of cod using hyperspectral imaging. 47th WEFTA Conference; 2017-10-09 – 2017-10-12

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