Nofima reports

Shelf life of stockfish – an initial study

Joensen, Sjurdur; Carlehøg, Mats; Heia, Karsten; Martinsen, Gustav

Publication details

Publisher: Nofima AS

Issue: 22/2019

Number of pages: 26

International Standard Numbers:
Printed: 978-82-8296-601-6

Open Access: green


Stockfish (long time dried whitefish) producers are required to label their products with information regarding shelf life. In an initial study, we have investigated some central quality criteria affecting the shelf life of stockfish.
During this study, stockfish was kept in two types of storage plants; the traditional ones, reflecting outdoor temperature and humidity, and also storage plants where temperature and humidity was regulated. Stockfish batches were produced and stored in this way throughout 2015; 2016; 2017 and 2018; following quality assessment in late 2018. Hence, storage period ranges from six months to 3,5 years.
During storage, the stockfish grew yellow both in skin color as well as in muscle color. This was more pronounced in the fish from the traditional storage than the fish kept in climate controlled storage. The stockfish lose weight during storage; and this is also the case for the product weight after the rehydration process. This is also more pronounced in fish from the traditional storage as compared to the fish kept in climate controlled storage.
Sensory assessment of taste and odor of fish from the two types of storage indicated no differences. During storage, there were no observations of changes regarding quality issues such as mucoso or gaping.