Senior Scientist Stein Harris Olsen teaching seafood industry personnel how to assess salmon. Photo: Lars-Åke Andersen/Nofima

Seafood industry

Our scientists gain knowledge about how we can improve the quality of seafood, how the raw materials can be handled and used optimally, and how the fishing industry can increase the value of its products.

Contact person
Portrettbilde av Heidi Nilsen
Heidi Nilsen

Research Director
Phone: +47 997 11 167

We offer:
  • Methods to measure and document the quality of raw materials
  • Knowledge in processing, with a focus on quality, long shelf-life and yield
  • Aid in using marine raw materials for products with high value

Norway exports seafood with a value of around NOK 53 billion every year. Consumers both in Norway and in the countries we export to want to be able to select various products based on price, quality and origin.

It is, therefore, important for fishermen, those in the aquaculture industry, and the fishing industry in general to understand the special qualities and advantages of seafood, such that they can offer attractive products.

Top-quality seafood

Consumers want fish and seafood of high quality. Our scientists have worked for many years with various ways to improve the quality of wild-caught fish, fish from capture-based aquaculture, and farmed fish.

We examine, for example, how fish quality is linked to parameters such as capture equipment, handling onboard the fishing vessels, capture-based aquaculture, the feeding of wild and farmed fish, and methods for slaughter, storage and processing. We document the quality and the processes, and provide advice on how best to manage raw materials and products.

A high quality of the fish is important, but it is crucial that it is profitable to produce it. Our research projects also take into account that it should be possible to carry out measures to improve the quality in a manner that is cost-effective and practical for the company.

Raw materials and processing

Fish and seafood must be subject to processing that has been adapted to various species characteristics and advantages. Our scientists have knowledge in the fundamental properties of many different fish raw materials and products. Our know-how about raw materials, processes and processing has led to several high-quality commercial products, and contributes in this way to the good reputation of Norwegian fish and seafood.

Research into raw materials and processing adds to improved quality of the products and thus also to greater marketing opportunities. For instance, we have shown that using the correct raw materials in salmon feed gives high-quality, firm fillets, and a salmon fillet that is suitable for various types of processing. Work with storage and shelf-life provides us with knowledge that is important in order to develop good products and to satisfy market demands.

Scientists involved in seafood research at Nofima have skills and knowledge that range from traditional methods to new technology. We work with issues within the production of fresh fish, frozen fish, salted fish, clipfish (dried and salted fish), stockfish, smoked fish, and products from rest raw materials as well.

As an example, we have examined how quality deficiencies in the raw material affects the final product, and how various production methods affect the yield and result in producing dried and salted fish.

Senior Scientist Karsten Heia participated in the development of this seafood scanner that can automatically sort fish based on its quality properties.

Senior Scientist Karsten Heia participated in the development of this seafood scanner that can automatically sort fish based on its quality properties. Photo: Marius Fiskum

We also develop methods and measuring instruments that can be used at seafood companies and processing facilities to evaluate and sort products. The use of spectroscopy and imaging makes it possible to detect both poor and good quality.

One example is the use of such technology to monitor filleted products on a process line, where each item must be measured and evaluated within one second. This type of measurement and monitoring can also be used to guide raw materials to the best possible area of application, based on specified quality requirements.

We engage in applied research working on commission from individual companies, and we also develop generic tools and methods that are readily available to those working in production, purchasers, and consumers.

The “How fresh is your fish?” app for iPhones and android phones helps users to check the quality of various types of fish. The app is free and has been translated into several languages.

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In our flexible mini-factory high technology companies can test and optimize their processes to extract all desired components from marine- and plant-based biomass.