Reports

Matís' report to NÍ 2023: Sampling and shipments 01.11.2022 – 31.10.2023

Published:

21/12/2023

Authors:

Elísabet Eik Guðmundsdóttir

Contact

Elísabet Eik Guðmundsdóttir

Project Manager

elisabet@matis.is

The sampling period covered by this report is from November 1, 2022 – October 31, 2023. A total of 328 samples were taken during the period, of which 306 were for research within the EUROPLANET collaboration, 21 for the mapping of marine microbes in Iceland and one for the CAZyme-X project. 

Reports

The effect of subcategories in the EUROP fat classification of lamb carcasses on meat quality

Published:

20/12/2023

Authors:

Guðjón Þorkelsson, Aðalheiður Ólafsdóttir, Eva Margrét Jónudóttir and Óli Þór Hilmarsson

Supported by:

Sheep farming development capital

Contact

Guðjón Þorkelsson

Strategic Scientist

gudjon.thorkelsson@matis.is

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a 15-point fat evaluation of lamb carcasses on fat in the back muscle and its taste and texture. A small relationship was found between fat categories in the European assessment and fat in spinal muscles and fat explosion by visual assessment. Fat groups had rather little effect on taste and texture. Spinal muscles in fat category 3+ were significantly softer, more tender and juicier than from other categories. Spinal muscles from fat group 2- were the least tender and the least juicy of all the groups in the experiment. It is interesting that out of about 14.5% of carcasses of lambs slaughtered in the second slaughter at the experimental farm LBHÍ went to the European subcategory 3+. There are possibly opportunities to revise the fat classification and process this meat and sell it as a special quality product. Little fat was measured in spinal muscles or in the range 1.1% – 3.6% and on average 1.92%. The reason may be the young age at slaughter, the Icelandic sheep breed and possibly breeding for a lot of muscle and lean meat.
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The effects of subclasses of EU fat classification of lamb carcasses on chemical fat, visual marbling scores and eating quality of loin muscle (m. longissimus dorsi) were studied. Correlation coefficients between fat classes, chemical fat content and marbling scores were low. The only effects of fat classes on eating quality were that class 2- had the least tender and juicy loin muscles and class 3+ loin muscles were the softest, most tender and juicy. 14,5% of the 317 carcasses of the lambs slaughtered were classified as 3+ according to the EU guidelines. Maybe there is an opportunity to review the rules in Iceland and separate the carcasses with the higher quality meat and market them as such. Intramuscular fat was low or from 1.1% – 3.9% and averaging 1.92%. The reasons may be young age at slaughter, the Icelandic sheep breed and maybe breeding for leaner meat.

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Reports

Study on the effects of raw materials on smoltification performance of Atlantic Salmon

Published:

19/12/2023

Authors:

David Sutter, Sven-Ole Meiske, Wolfgang Koppe & Georges Lamborelle

Supported by:

Darling

Contact

Georges Lamborelle

Station manager of Matís Aquaculture Research Station

georges@matis.is

This report is closed.

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Reports

Ratio of meat, fat and bones in lamb meat – Chemical content of lamb meat and by-products 

Published:

15/12/2023

Authors:

Óli Þór Hilmarsson, Ólafur Reykdal, Guðjón Þorkelsson, Helgi Briem and Hafliði Halldórsson

Supported by:

Icelandic Food Innovation Fund (is. Matvælasjóður)

Contact

Ólafur Reykdal

Project Manager

olafur.reykdal@matis.is

In the project, an assessment was made of the ratio of meat, fat and bones in lamb meat. Carcasses from the meat evaluation categories O-2, R-2, R-3, U-2, U-3, U-3+, and E-3 were selected for the evaluation, nine carcasses from each evaluation category, a total of 63 carcasses. Carcasses from these categories cover the 92% production based on the division into meat food categories in 2021. Carcasses were selected on three different slaughter days, in two slaughterhouses, in the north and the south, in such a way that the head of the meat evaluation department at the Food Agency, selected all carcasses and confirmed that each a carcass would be a traditional carcass in its assessment category and not at the edge of the category. The day after slaughter, the carcasses were split in half. One half was divided into thighs, forequarters, loins and loins according to the traditional division, while the other half was divided into three weight categories, lightweight under 14.5 kg, medium 14.5 - 16.8 kg and heavy 16.9 - 19.0 kg. The halves were then divided in different ways, with parts going into the various products. Precision deboning was applied to both halves of the lamb carcasses to find the division of the various cuts and products into meat, fat, bone and sinew. Atrophy was also found due to loss of ossification. 

Meat utilization (meat ratio) for the lamb carcasses as a whole was 59.0 (50.7-67.3)%, fat ratio was 16.2 (9.7-28.0)%, bone ratio was 17.7 (13.4- 22.1)% and the tendon ratio was 6.3 (4.4-8.1)%. Atrophy during precision boning was 1.1 (0.0-2.5)%. The average meat utilization was highest in the evaluation category U-2, except for the front part, where the utilization was somewhat higher in E-3. Within the flesh filling categories U and R, it was clearly seen how the percentage of fat changes according to the definitions of fat categories. 

The proportion of meat, fat and bones in different quality categories confirms that the meat assessment is realistic and in accordance with the definitions behind the assessment. 

The proportions of meat, fat, bones, tendons and shrinkage were found for 30 lamb products from selected weight classes. High meat percentage was obtained for thigh without rump, hip bone and tail bone from heavy carcasses (74%) and thigh with shank without hip from both light and medium carcasses (69%). 

Measurements were made of nutrients in lamb pieces and lamb products. Heavy metal measurements were made on lamb pieces. These results will be useful for packaging labeling and for providing information to consumers and retailers. The lamb meat was so rich in vitamin B12, vitamin folate, potassium and zinc that it is permissible to label these substances as part of the meat's nutrition label on the packaging. The heavy metals mercury, cadmium, lead and arsenic were not measurable in the meat, i.e. were below the limits that could be safely measured. This limit is very low and therefore the possible concentration of heavy metals is extremely low.  

Sampling of lamb offal and other side products took place in three slaughterhouses, at SS in Selfoss, KS in Sauðárkrók and Norðlenska in Húsavík. Samples were obtained from liver, kidney, heart, lung, testicle, esophagus, pancreas, spleen, and blood. Chemical measurements were made on selected nutrients and heavy metals. The lamb offal and by-products are rich in iron and selenium, but these substances are important nutrients. All samples reach significant levels of selenium. In the case of significant quantities, labeling of food packaging is permitted according to the labeling regulation. Most of the samples reached significant levels of iron. The heavy metal cadmium was detectable in liver and kidney but not in other samples. Mercury, lead and arsenic were not measurable in the samples, although with the exception that mercury in the kidneys was measurable. 

Chemical measurement results call for attention and improvements in labeling and information. 

Meat, fat, and bone ratios of Icelandic lamb – Chemical composition of lamb meat and side-products 

Meat, fat, and bone ratios of Icelandic lamb meat, were studied. Carcasses from the EUROP classes: O-2, R-2, R-3, U-2, U-3, U-3+, and E-3 were selected, nine carcasses from each class, a total of 63 carcasses. Carcasses from these classes represent 92% of the lamb meat production in Iceland as reported for 2021. Carcasses were selected during three slaughtering days, in two slaughterhouses in north and south Iceland. The EUROP classifications of carcasses were confirmed by a specialist from the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority.

The carcasses were divided into halves the day after slaughtering. One half was divided into traditional cuts: leg, forequarter, saddle, and flank. The other half was used for the study of various cuts, where each product was made from one of three selected carcass weight ranges: light carcasses below 14.5 kg, medium carcasses 14.5-16.8 kg and heavy carcasses 16.9-19.0 kg. Deboning was carried out on all products and yields were reported (meat, fat, bones, tendons). Wastage due to cutting, and deboning was reported.

Tissue ratios for whole lamb carcasses were on average 59% meat, 16% fat, 18% bones, and 6% tendons. Wastage during cutting and deboning was 1.1%. The meat yields were highest for class U-2, except for forequarter which had a bit higher meat yield for class E-3. For conformation classes U and R, it was clear that fat yields were related to the definitions of fat thickness for fat classes 2, 3 and 3+.

Yields were reported for meat, fat, bones, and tendons in 30 meat products. Highest meat yields were for leg products (74% and 69%).

Selected nutrients were analyzed in legs, forequarters, saddles, flanks, and several products. The results will be used for labeling and dissemination. Lamb meat was rich in vitamin B12, folate, potassium, and zinc. These nutrients can be used for nutrition declarations of the meat. The heavy metals mercury, cadmium, lead, and arsenic were below the quantification limits in lamb meat. The quantification limits were very low.

Sampling of lamb organ foods and side-products was carried out in three slaughterhouses. The following side-products were sampled: Liver, kidneys, heart, lungs, testicles, gullet, sweetbread, spleen, and blood. Selected nutrients and heavy metals were analyzed. These products were generally rich in selenium and iron which can be used for nutrition declarations in most cases. The heavy metal cadmium was reported for liver, and kidneys, cadmium was however below the quantification limit in other products.

Reports

Product development of ready-to-heat vegetarian meals containing Torula

Published:

14/12/2023

Authors:

Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir, Aðalheiður Ólafsdóttir and Birgir Örn Smárason

Supported by:

Grant Agreement: 862704, Horizon 2020, EU Research and Innovation program

Contact

Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir

Project Manager

kolbrun.sveinsdottir@matis.is

Availability of high-quality, sustainably produced protein is becoming increasingly limited, but at the same time, global demand for protein has never been higher. Increased emphasis has been placed on more sustainable consumption habits and lifestyles in Western societies with the aim of reducing negative environmental impacts. To meet the increased need for protein, consumers need to reduce their consumption of animal protein and increase their consumption of other proteins. Such proteins are not only traditional plant proteins but also neoproteins such as monocytes which are relatively new on the European food market.

Within the European project NextGenProteins, the food producer Grímur Kokkur, in collaboration with Matís, developed vegetarian dishes that contained the protein source Torula. The focus was mainly on prepared vegetable dishes that contain neoproteins in such amounts that the dish can be labeled as a source of protein (at least 12% calories (kcal) from protein out of total calories).

This report describes trials on the development of breaded vegetable buns containing Torula and date filling and breaded risotto buns containing Torula. Sensory properties, nutrients and consumer experience of the cups were evaluated. Sensory evaluations performed by trained sensory judges did not indicate any defects in sensory quality and consumer feedback was generally very positive. Furthermore, both products contained more than 12% kcal from proteins. From these results, it can be concluded that the product development of prepared vegetable dishes containing Torula has been successful.
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Access to high quality, sustainably produced proteins is becoming increasingly restricted due to a growing world population, increased pressure on natural resources and climate change, while at the same time the global protein demand has never been higher. There has been increased emphasis towards more sustainable consumption habits and lifestyle in western societies with the aim to reduce negative environmental effects. To meet the increased need for protein, consumers need to reduce their consumption of animal protein and increase their consumption of alternative proteins. Alternative proteins are not only traditional plant proteins but also from novel sources such as single cells which are relatively new to the food market in Europe. 

Within the European project, NextGenProteins, the food producer Grímur Kokkur developed a series of vegetarian meals containing the alternative protein source Torula in collaboration with Matís. The focus was mainly placed on vegetarian ready meals containing the alternative protein ingredient in a ratio which enables the producer to claim the ready meals are a source of protein (at least 12% kcal from protein of total kcal).

This report summarizes and describes trials of the development of breaded vegetarian cakes containing Torula and date filling and breaded risotto cakes containing Torula, with regard to sensory characteristics, nutrients and consumer liking. Sensory evaluation by trained sensory panelists indicated no defects regarding sensory quality, and both products were very well perceived by consumers. Furthermore, the products both contain more than 12% kcal from proteins. From these results it can be concluded that the product development of the oven-ready vegetarian meals with Torula was successful.

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Reports

Proceedings from a conference on "Environmental impacts and energy transition in the Nordic seafood sector"

Published:

14/12/2023

Authors:

Jónas R. Viðarsson

Supported by:

AG-fisk (Nordic council of Ministers Working group for Fisheries and Aquaculture)

Contact

Jónas Rúnar Viðarsson

Director of Business and Development

jonas@matis.is

Fish and other seafood play an important role in ensuring food security, employment and the economy in the world, and especially in the Nordic countries. In addition, seafood of Nordic origin generally comes from sustainably exploited stocks, is particularly healthy for consumption and in most cases has a very limited carbon footprint compared to other protein sources. It can therefore be argued to a certain extent that Nordic seafood is a "sustainable superfood". However, consumers are often not sure if seafood is an environmentally friendly option. The Nordic fishing industry is now faced with the opportunity to take the lead in the energy exchange, and thus be able to boast of offering the best and most environmentally friendly seafood available.

The Working Group on Fisheries and Aquaculture (AG-Fisk) operating within the Nordic Council has identified these opportunities, and as part of Iceland's presidency of the Council in 2023, AG-fisk funded a project designed to promote networking within the Nordic fisheries to increase awareness and share knowledge about past, present and future progress in terms of sustainability and energy transition in the fisheries sector. The highlight of the project was a conference held in Reykjavík on September 13, 2023, but the day before a working meeting was held where opportunities for increased Nordic cooperation were discussed. The conference consisted of 13 talks and about 150 people attended the event, which took place in Harpa. This report contains an overview of the presentations made at the conference. Recordings from the conference are also available at website of the project.
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Seafood is generally a climate-efficient and nutritious type of food. Consumers, however, are often confused as to whether seafood is sustainable or not and what seafood to choose. The Nordic seafood sector now has the opportunity to take the lead in transitioning to low greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency measures and shifting to alternative fuels.

The Working Group for Fisheries and Aquaculture (AG-Fisk) within the Nordic council has recognized this, and as part of Iceland's presidency of the council in 2023, initiated a networking project to raise awareness and share knowledge on past-, present- and future advances in reduction of environmental impacts in Nordic seafood value chains. The highlight of the project was a conference that was held in Reykjavík on 13 September 2023. The conference consisted of 13 presentations and was attended by close to 150 persons. This report contains the proceedings from the conference, representing an abstract of each presentation and the slides presented. Recordings form the conference are also available on the project's webpage.

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Reports

Analysis of the amount of organic fertilizers in Iceland and opportunities for increased utilization

Published:

15/04/2022

Authors:

Jónas Baldursson, Eva Margrét Jónudóttir, Magnús H. Jóhannsson

Supported by:

Rannís 2020 target plan - Social challenges

Contact

Jónas Baldursson

Project Manager

jonasb@matis.is

By far the largest part of field cultivation is carried on with the use of artificial fertilizers. The main nutrients considered in fertilizers are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca) and sulfur (S) along with numerous trace elements. Organic waste contains these same nutrients but is not the best fertilizer available in terms of nutrient concentration or cost of application. In view of the fact that the price of synthetic fertilizers has doubled between years, that it is a matter of limited resources and its unfriendly production, organic waste and by-products of processing have become even more important resources that are worth using more and more.

The research and innovation project Sustainable fertilizer production - a comprehensive approach to the circular economy was funded by Ranni's Target Program at the beginning of 2021, where the collaborative group explores ways to use local organic resources, by-products from various types of production and processes to produce sustainable fertilizers for Icelandic agriculture and land reclamation . This report is one part of the project where an assessment was made of the organic waste generated in Iceland, both in terms of quantity and nutrient composition.

The objectives of this report were as follows:
– To identify and calculate the amount of organic waste that is generated in Iceland and could be used in the production of fertiliser. calculate the amount of organic waste that is generated in Iceland and could be used in the production of fertilizer.
- To calculate the amount of nutrients (NPK) in organic waste according to the measurements carried out in the project together with national and foreign sources where information was missing.
- To make proposals and identify where the main opportunities lie in the increased use of organic waste for fertilizer production in Iceland.

The amount of organic waste from animals was calculated based on the number of animals, their feed needs and feed utilization. When calculating the amount of other organic substances, the accounts of the Environment Agency were used. The nutritional content of organic raw materials was found out either through chemical measurements, literature searches, or both.

The results of this project shed light on opportunities for increased utilization of organic waste for fertilizer and the existing facilities. Results indicate that the total amount of NPK nutrients in organic waste generated in Iceland is similar to that in imported synthetic fertilizers, but the amount of nitrogen is considerably lower. In terms of opportunities for increased utilization, fish farm sludge, slaughterhouse waste and poultry droppings should be mentioned most prominently. Organic waste is usually rich in water and the concentration of nutrients is low. Therefore, a larger amount of waste with associated transport costs or further processing is needed to obtain a similar effect as with imported synthetic fertilizers.

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Peer-reviewed articles

Genetic mixing of wild Icelandic salmon (Salmo salar) and farmed salmon of Norwegian origin

Genetic mixing with farmed salmon can change the genetic composition of wild populations, lead to changes in life history parameters and even cause population decline. In Iceland, aquaculture of salmon of Norwegian origin is a growing industry. The production of farmed salmon has gone from almost nothing in 2010 to 43,000 tons in 2022. According to the current advice of the Norwegian Marine Research Institute (risk assessment of genetic mixing), it is estimated that it is possible to raise 106,500 tons of fertile salmon without causing a negative impact on useful wild populations. salmon

In a genetic study from 2017, where 15 microsatellites were used, signs of genetic admixture were found in rivers close to seagull farming in the Westfjords. In this study, salmon samples were taken in rivers around the country and the number of samples was almost ten times higher. A total of 6,348 salmon fry from 89 rivers were studied and emphasis was placed on areas in the vicinity of sea pig farming.

Most samples belonged to the spawning cohorts of 2014-2018, when the production of farmed salmon was around 6,900 tons on average. Samples were genetically analyzed with 60,250 alleles (SNP genetic boundaries) and the genetic information of 250 farmed salmon was used for comparison. The coefficient of genetic difference (FST) between Icelandic salmon and farmed salmon was 0.14 on average (based on 34,700 SNPs) and 0.62 for the genetic boundaries that showed the greatest separation between the two groups (196 SNPs). Genetic admixture was analyzed by multivariate analysis (PCA) and in the models of the programs ADMIXTURE, STRUCTURE and NewHybrids.

A total of 133 first-generation hybrids (offspring of farmed and wild salmon) were detected in 17 rivers (2.1% samples, within 18% rivers). Older admixture (second generation or older) was detected in 141 juveniles in 26 rivers (2.2% samples, within 29% rivers). First-generation hybrids were more common in the Westfjords than in the Eastfjords, which is consistent with the fact that the fire in the Eastfjords started later and has been less extensive.

Hybridization was usually detected less than 50 km away from breeding areas, but some hybrids were found up to 250 km away. On the other hand, older genetic admixture was more frequent in the Eastfjords than in the Westfjords and is most likely related to the fire that operated there at the beginning of this century. Older genetic admixture was most evident in Breiðdalsá and was detected in 32% (72 out of 228) of the juveniles. More research is needed on the intergenerational distribution of hybrids, the extent and causes of the spread of older admixtures.

As mentioned above, the study analyzed the effects from the early years of the current farming, when production volumes were low, and older experiments in sea pig farming. The results in this report show that genetic mixing has occurred at relatively low breeding rates.

Peer-reviewed articles

Novel biomaterials and biotechnological applications derived from North Atlantic sea cucumbers: A systematic review.

In book: The World of Sea Cucumbers, Challenges, Advances, and Innovations. 1st Edition, pp. Editors: Annie Mercier, Jean-Francois Hamel, Andrew Suhrbier, Christopher Pearce. ISBN: 9780323953771.

Reports

Color of supercooled gills

Published:

15/07/2020

Authors:

Gunnar Þórðarson, Margrét Geirsdóttir and Sigurjón Arason

Supported by:

AVS Fisheries Research Fund

Contact

Gunnar Þórðarson

Regional Manager

gunnar.thordarson@matis.is

The color of the gills has long been used to evaluate the freshness of fish, but it is known that during storage the color changes and they darken. When ultra-skinning of salmon was introduced, which improved the quality of production, billfish followed the short-rib method, where the gills darkened during cooling; but the color change can cause difficulties in the market and give the false impression that freshness is not good enough.

It was therefore important to get answers as to why this color change occurs during hypothermia, which is defined as cooling below 0 °C and less than or equal to 20% of the water content of the muscle being frozen. The research question was therefore whether it was the salt or the cold in the refrigerant that caused the color change. The result of the project is unequivocal that the cooling is the causative factor and the color of the gills changes when freezing during cooling which is based on a cooling medium of -2.5 °C and a cooling time of about 80 minutes. 
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The color of the gills has long been used to evaluate the freshness of fish, but it is known that during storage, the color changes and they darken. When super chilling of salmon was introduced which improved the quality of production, a problem followed by the gills darkening during chilling; but the color change can cause difficulties in the market and incorrectly indicate that freshness is not satisfactory.

It was therefore important to obtain answers as to why this discoloration occurs during supercooling, which is defined as cooling below 0 ° C and less or equal to 20% of the water content of the muscle being frozen. The research question was whether it was the salt or the cold in the refrigerant that caused the color change. The result of the project is unequivocally that the cooling is the cause and the color of the gills changes when it freezes during cooling, which is based on a refrigerant of -2.5 ° C and a cooling time of about 80 minutes.

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