Guide to the use of organic materials for fertilization in agriculture and land reclamation

The Ministry of Food is currently working on a road map for the use of organic materials for fertilizer in agriculture and land reclamation. The roadmap takes into account the government's climate policy and circular economy policy and is intended to show the way to how the set goal of sustainable use of organic materials for fertilizer will be achieved step by step in 2040 or earlier.

The project consists, among other things, in presenting a straightforward and credible plan that includes, among other things: assessment of the current situation, analysis of opportunities and their prioritization, as well as the presentation of scenarios. The Ministry of Food is responsible for the preparation of the roadmap, but has hired the Efla engineering firm to help with the work, in addition to the fact that the Ministry's institutions and stakeholders sit on the steering committee, i.e. Matís, RML, Landgroðslan and MAST.

Fourth of October a working meeting was held in the project where 35 business partners from various industries had the opportunity to get to know the preparation of the road map and bring input to the work. The meeting was held in Matís' house, and good discussions took place there, which will undoubtedly be useful in the preparation of the road map, which is expected to be published before the end of the year.


The Minister of Fisheries of Sierra Leone visits Matís

A delegation from Sierra Leone came to the country at the end of September at the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to learn about the activities of the main institutions related to the blue economy - Matís, the Norwegian Marine Research Institute, the Norwegian Fisheries Agency and the Maritime School GRÓ.

The committee was chaired by Emma Josephine Kowa, Minister of Fisheries. The committee's visit was a preparation for upcoming cooperation projects between Iceland and Sierra Leone, which are related to an agreement on bilateral cooperation between the countries in development matters. Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries in the world despite access to considerable wealth, both on land and sea. A long and cruel civil war tried the nation, but the current government is determined to develop the state for the better and look at better utilization of the riches of the sea.

The delegation together with representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs visited Matís on September 20 last, where the company's activities were presented and the premises were inspected. In continuation, there were discussions about Matís involvement in various projects that affect the blue economy and that falls under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' goals for bilateral cooperation. The Minister of Fisheries especially thanked Matís for a successful project concerning the smoking of fish, which results in better quality and improved health of the staff. But Matís designed the smoker and assisted in its construction.


Matís is advertising for a project manager in Vestmannaeyjar


Tinna Brá Sigurðardóttir

Human Resources Manager

Vestmannaeyja Knowledge Center (ÞSV) and Matís ohf. wish to hire a project manager for a 100% job, about a 50% job at each company. The office is in the creative environment of ÞSV and partners at Ægisgatu 2 in Vestmannaeyju.

The main part of the work at ÞSV, in collaboration with its manager, consists of carrying out regional projects on behalf of the Association of Southern Municipalities (SASS) according to a special agreement. Including providing advice in the field of employment and culture and overseeing grants for more interesting projects in the field of regional development in the South.

The work at Matís is related to procurement, planning and participation in national and international research and innovation projects in the field of sustainable food production. It is also expected that the establishment in Vestmannaeyjar has a good relationship with food producers in the South and serves the companies, among other things, with grant applications and in connection with other Matís experts.

Area of work:
  • Cooperation with companies, individuals and municipalities on regional development and innovation in the South  
  • Business and operational consulting
  • Project procurement and assistance with project financing, such as by preparing grant applications
  • Project management
Qualification requirements:
  • Education that is useful in work
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Good oral and written communication skills
  • Initiative, independence and ambition

All genders are encouraged to apply. Applications must be accompanied by a detailed CV as well as the phone number or email address of the recommender.

More information about the job is provided by:
Hörður Baldvinsson, co. ÞSV simi 841 7710 and Jónas R. Viðarsson, division manager at Matís 422 5107.

The application deadline is until September 20
please send an application to

Photo credit: Shutterstock


Good news for Icelandic food production and Matís' partners

The development of more environmentally friendly packaging, grass proteins, by-products of gardening and foods made from macroalgae, together with species analysis of salted fish, are among Matís' new projects in collaboration with companies and institutions.

The last few weeks proved successful for Matís's Icelandic food producers and partners, but thirteen projects that Matís works on received funding from the Food Fund when the fund announced its third allocation. Earlier this summer, eight other funds had announced that ten collaborative projects in which Matís is involved had secured funding. This excellent result clearly shows the strength and importance of the cooperation that Matís has with companies, institutions and entrepreneurs of all sizes and types, both within the country and abroad. 

Matís' goal is to support research and innovation in the food and biotechnology industry, and the company's staff is proud to have the opportunity to work with forward-looking companies, institutions and entrepreneurs in shaping the future. The following is a brief overview of 23 new Matís collaboration projects that received positive responses about grant money in recent weeks. The picture below shows that Matís' partners in the projects are spread all over the country.


Value from horticultural by-products is a joint project of the Farmers' Association, Orkídeu and Matís, where they are looking for ways to create increased value from the by-products of gardening, such as leaves that fall during defoliation in horticulture, plants that are in danger of yielding, any kind of cuttings such as rose petals, outermost leaves of cabbage , carrot grass and potato grass. Various valuable substances can be found in these side products, but now they are mostly composted or landfilled with the associated costs. Soon it will be prohibited to dispose of organic waste to the extent that it is done today due to negative environmental effects. It is therefore important to find a way to increase the value of this raw material and reduce waste.

LuLam Wrap (Lupine food wrap) is a joint project of Efnasmiðjunn, Sedna-Biopack, Sälufélag garðyrkjummanna and Matís. The goal of the project is to develop environmentally friendly, degradable packaging from Icelandic alaska and kelp, and test it for food use.

Flavorings made from seafood is a joint project of North Seafood Solutions, Útgerðarfélagins Lokinharma, Iceland Seafood Iberica and Matís. The goal of the project is to develop flavors and flavors from the by-products of fish processing in Iceland. These products are intended mainly for the foreign market for restaurants and canteens.

Meat snacks - value creation through full processing of horse meat is a joint project of a 1000-year-old rural village, Orkídea and Matís. The aim of the project is to increase the processing of Icelandic horsemeat and to develop new and valuable products from this underutilized raw material, including meat snack Market infrastructure will also be built to increase Icelanders' interest and consumption of meat snacks made from horse meat.

Production of oligosaccharides from macroalgae by enzymatic processing is an innovative project that will be carried out within Matís' biotechnology group. The goal of the project is to develop a method for the production of oligosaccharides from macroalgae and thus increase the utilization of algae that grow in abundance on the coast of Iceland. Oligosaccharides are used in the food industry to change the taste and texture characteristics, as well as having a positive effect on the microflora in the digestive tract. Oligosaccharides can replace fat and/or sugar in food, and such use leads to healthier foods as oligosaccharides are low in calories.

BruXOS – Value creation from the by-product of beer making is a joint project between Ölgerðinn and Matís, where the goal is to create value from beer-making beer by using enzymes to convert fiber in the beer into xylose oligosaccharides. But as mentioned above, oligosaccharides are used in the food industry to change the taste and texture characteristics, as well as having a positive effect on the microflora in the digestive tract. Oligosaccharides can replace fat and/or sugar in food, and such use leads to healthier foods as oligosaccharides are low in calories.

Certification of origin of Icelandic salted fish in Spain is a joint project of the Association of Icelandic Saltfish Producers, the Norwegian Marine Research Institute and Matís. The project aims to develop a genetic method that can distinguish between cod from Íslandsmiður and cod caught off the coast of Norway and in the Barents Sea. Salted fish producers in this country suspect that salted cod products from Norway are sometimes wrongly labeled as Icelandic on markets in Southern Europe. The market position of Icelandic salted fish products has for a long time been very strong in Southern Europe, especially in Spain, Portugal and Italy. In these markets, Icelandic products have a certain uniqueness and prices for Icelandic saltfish are generally higher than for saltfish from other regions. If the goal of the project is successful, it will be possible to verify that salted fish is not sold under a false flag.

Relationship of NIR to growth and feed digestibility of salmonids is a joint project of the Association of Icelandic Fishmeal Producers, Síldarvállúnn, Eskja, Ísfélag Vestmannaeyja, the University of Iceland and Matís. The aim of the project is to develop a model to evaluate the quality of fishmeal as a raw material for salmon farm feed in a quick, easy and cheap way. The model will be based on NIR technology (near infrared spectroscopy) which provides information on the content and characteristics of the measured samples. This information can be used and compared in vivo actual measurements and thus get a forecast for various elements in the raw material. These include the chemical content and digestibility of raw materials, the composition of nutrients such as amino acids and fatty acids, to name a few. A NIR device actually provides a fingerprint of the raw material. With the NIR model, it will therefore be possible to assess the quality of fishmeal, which will provide fishmeal producers with data to improve their products and strengthen their bargaining position vis-a-vis feed producers. Similarly, the results of the project will enable feed manufacturers to select the right "right" fishmeal for their feed.

Is the grass greener on the other side? (grass protein) is a joint project of Matís, the Farmers' Association, the University of Agriculture and the Advisory Center for Agriculture. Protein is in high demand and one possible source of protein is grass. Abroad, especially in Denmark, research has been carried out in the field of protein processing from grass with good results. The goal of the project is to start research in this field in Iceland and carry out basic work that can then be built on. Results from Denmark cannot be transferred directly to Icelandic conditions, so it is important to carry out research in this area here. Protein extracted from grass can be used both as fodder and food. Research has also shown that waste from protein processing can be used as feed. In the project, samples of grass will be collected from the experimental cultivation of different cultivars and knowledge of the protein content and properties of the isolated protein will be obtained.

Nutritional data - key to national public health and innovation in the food industry is a joint project of Matís, the European Food Information Resource (EuroFIR), the Association of Small Food Producers (SSMF), Mjölkursamsalen and other companies in the food industry. When making claims about the health and safety of food, information and knowledge are needed. The aim of the project is to improve and update the Icelandic database on the chemical content of food (ÍSGEM). ÍSGEM is now managed by Matís, but it has not been possible to finance its maintenance for the past 12 years. It is up to the food industry, scientists and the public alike not to be able to fully trust the information. A step will be taken to make it easier for the food industry and the public to use the database on the Matís website. During product development in the food industry, it is important to be able to examine the composition of raw materials when aiming for certain goals in the development.

Study on utilization rate and chemical content of lamb meat and by-products is a joint project of Icelandic Lamb marketing agency and Matís. The project relates to an assessment of utilization rates within the meat assessment categories of lamb and an analysis of the chemical content of meat and by-products that are of increasing value. The project is intended to update old and even outdated data and save it in public databases.

Pine fatty acids as a quality indicator is a joint project between True Westfjords and Matís where the goal is to use Furan fatty acids to evaluate the quality of fish oil, while True Westfjörds is a producer of cold-processed fish oil sold under the brand name Dropi.

Improved quality of sea-frozen roe is a joint project between Útgerðafélag Reykjavíkur and Matís, where efforts will be made to improve processing processes and the quality of sea-frozen pollock products.

Rannís Technology Development Fund

BIOTOOL, Advanced technology for environmental monitoring in aquaculture is a joint project of RORUM (Research and consultancy in environmental and regional affairs), the University of Iceland, the Danish Technical University (DTU) and Matís. The goal of the project is to develop a comprehensive genetic molecular tool for monitoring benthic communities for fish farming. The device in question is very sensitive and will result in significant savings in time and costs, which are important to both the fish farm and public regulators. The project is based on unique long-term data and the latest technology in environmental genetics. A very fast and environmentally friendly technology that uses environmental DNA (eDNA) will be used to monitor and measure changes in benthic communities.

Professional degree in sheep farming

Increased throughput and cost-effectiveness in rickets gene assays is a joint project of the Agricultural Advisory Center (RML) and Matís. Now the situation in the analyzes of the rickets gene has completely changed. A protective variation against scabies, i.e. at position 171 in the scabies gene, has been found in a herd in Þernunes in Reyðarfjörður, and extensive research is underway to investigate the effect of other variations in the scabies gene on susceptibility to scabies: 137, 138 and 151. In addition, it is important for farmers to receive information about 136 and 154, as Matís has analyzed for years. Therefore, it is clear that farmers and managers urgently need genotyping of all these six seats in as many artifacts as possible. The aim of the project is to increase the performance and reduce the price of riðügen analyzes in this country. The grant will be used to cover the costs of sequencing the scrapie gene to farmers and RML.

Lou fund

Fishing and processing of redfish in Vestmannaeyjar is a joint project of the Vestmannaeyri Knowledge Center, the Vestmannaeyri Research Service, the University of Iceland, the Norwegian Marine Research Institute, the Processing Center in the Vestmannaeyjar, the Ísfélag Vestmannaeyjar and Matís. In the project, the viability of catching and processing redfish in the Vestmannaeyjar will be investigated.

A fund for the promotion of a circular economy in Iceland

Microorganisms for aquaculture sludge enrichment is a joint project of Sjávarklasan and Matís. The goal of the project is to develop methods to use organic side streams (waste) from salmon farming in fertilizer.

Optimization of the implementation of the utilization of side streams for biochar and fertilizer production is a joint project between Landeldi and Matís, but the aim of the project is to The aim of the project is to investigate and document the recovery of nutrients from different dry chemical filters in land farming and their best handling for biochar production. The aim is to research and optimize processes for mixing livestock manure, fish slurry, feed residues and dead fish from land farming, with the aim of maximizing the soil-improving properties of biochar and the power of fertiliser. It will be investigated how biochar can be produced in the most economical way.

Environmental Fund for Sea Pig Farming

Monitoring of manatee farming areas using rapid genetic methods is a joint project between RORUM and Matís. The aim of the project is to develop fast genetic methods to monitor the biological diversity in the bottom layers under and around salmon dams.

EIT food

The relationship between feed and seasonal fluctuations in the nutritional content of milk (NUTRIMILK – Connecting milk seasonality and nutritional requirements to inform farm-to-fork innovations for optimum nutrient supply). The project is carried out in collaboration with the University of Reading, UK. The aim of the project is to examine changes in nutritional composition depending on the season. The project will (i) investigate the effect of production system (organic production vs conventional) and season (January-December), on the concentration of trace minerals and minerals in milk and (ii) evaluate the effect it has on the mineral intake of different social groups across the year.

Norwegian Research Council (Forskningsrådet)

Causal categorization of mortality as a model system for sustainable growth and increased value creation in aquaculture is a project funded by the Norwegian Research Council and led by the Department of Veterinary Medicine at NMBU University in Norway. Other participants are ÅKERBLÅ AS, SINTEF, PISCADA AS, LERØY, Laxar, Arctic Fish, Arnarlax and Matís. The goal of the project is to analyze the reasons for salmon deaths in aquaculture and to try to use that knowledge to reduce salmon deaths.

BlueBio Cofund

Strengthening European fisheries by creating a "fingerprint" of underutilized fish species to increase sustainability and reduce waste (EuFish_SustainableGrowth – European fisheries enhancement through "Omic" characterization and innovative seafood production from underutilized fish species. The project is led by the University of Naples Federico II, Italy and worked in collaboration with AquaBioTech ltd, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn of Naples, Brim, Grími kokki and Matís. The goal of the project is to examine underutilized fish species by using them better as nutritious food and/or as feed in aquaculture. By using diverse fish species, we can increase access to nutritious seafood and reduce food waste. Specific fingerprints of different species will be developed which can be shared with stakeholders in a database.

BláGræntFóður (Synergy of blue and green sectors for resilient biomass production and processing to develop sustainable feed ingredients for European aquaculture). The project is led by SINTEF in Norway, with the participation of the University of Åarhus, the University of Tallinn, the University of Iceland, Laxá and Montasjen in Norway. The goal of the project is to develop fish feed from grass proteins and feather meal from poultry farming.

grid test


Renewable Arctic economies

The book "Renewable Economies in the Arctic" is published, which deals with renewable economies in the Arctic. Matís staff, Ólafur Reykdal, Rakel Halldórsdóttir, Óli Þór Hilmarsson, Gunnar Þórðarson and Þóra Valsdóttir are involved in one chapter of the book which deals with food production in the Arctic.

The book highlights the perspectives of experts in diverse fields, such as economics, sociology, political science and food science, when it comes to renewable economies. The perspectives shed light on the special challenges facing the Arctic and at the same time on the opportunities that exist to exploit sustainable resources and thus breathe life into the regions' economies.

Matís' staff was one of the authors of the chapter "the Arctic as a food-producing region" which deals with food production in the Arctic, which briefly discusses Iceland, northern Norway and northern Canada. It is worth mentioning in particular a section on how to increase the value of food from Norway's Arctic regions through targeted marketing. It is based on a detailed study that could be taken into account in Iceland.

The book and its individual chapters can be accessed in open access here: Renewable Economies in the Arctic

Peer-reviewed articles

Valorisation of frozen cod (Gadus morhua) heads, captured by trawl and longline by the oceanic fleet, by enzymatic hydrolysis

In the Norwegian oceanic fleet, whitefish onboard processing creates a great amount of rest raw materials. Cod heads are nutritious and a good source for the production of high-quality marine peptides. Frozen cod heads, captured by trawl or longline, were evaluated based on the lightness and redness in the neck cut to compare the quality in heads from the different fishing gears. The heads were subjected to enzymatic hydrolysis. The hydrolysates have been chemically and sensory characterized. There was no significant difference in quality or chemical and sensory characteristics based on type of fishing gear. The resulting hydrolysates were of high quality, although moderately bitter. The study demonstrates that frozen cod heads from the oceanic fleet can be an excellent source of high-quality proteins for human consumption.

Link to article


Long and close collaboration between science and industry

In the April issue of the European magazine Eurofish Magazine, an interview was published with Jónas Rúnar Viðarsson, director of value creation at Matís.

In the article, Jónas shares with his readers a vision of the future of the fishing industry in Iceland and what Matís' role is in ensuring the quality of the catch.

New knowledge, technology and innovation have paved the way for improved quality of seafood and this development is constantly ongoing. Energy efficiency and sustainability are key in today's high-tech marine industry, both to meet customer needs and to reduce costs.

Matís has worked closely with the fishing industry for decades on the development of new solutions and work processes. Matís has also played an important role in educating future employees in the industry, both through teaching at universities and working with students. The link between industry, science, education and government is the key to successful cooperation. 

The full article is available in Eurofish Magazine, pages 63-64, at the following address:  Current issue - Eurofish Magazine.


The NordMar projects - the final conference on the sea

In June, three projects, the so-called NordMar projects that have been running since 2019, will end with an impressive final conference that will take place at the Grand Hotel Reykjavík.

The projects NordMar Plastic, NordMar Biorefine and NordMar Ports began on the basis of the priorities of the Nordic Council of Ministers when Iceland held the presidency in the years 2019-2021.

For more information about the conference, send an email to:

NordMar Plastic led by Sophie Jensen, Matís' project manager, aims to raise awareness and educate the public about plastic pollution in the environment, as well as to develop and publish study materials and hold events that promote increased innovation in connection with the subject.

NordMar Biorefine is led by Val Norðra Gunnlaugsson, Director of Matís, and aims to assess the feasibility and potential of biomass plants for the blue bioeconomy in the Nordic countries and the formation of a network of experts in this field as well as education on related issues for younger generations.

In the project NordMar Ports Emphasis is placed on strengthening ports as centers of innovation and energy exchange, a project managed by partners in the Faroe Islands.


The Laurentic Forum workshop was a success

On Thursday 19 May, the Laurentic Forum hosted a workshop on the utilization of seaweed in the Arctic. The meeting was very interesting in all respects and was attended by about 100 people, from all over the world.

Recordings of the meeting can now be accessed on the event's website here:

The meeting briefly reviewed the state of affairs regarding the utilization of algae worldwide, as well as in Canada (Newfoundland & Labrador), Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Ireland and Norway.

The agenda of the meeting was as follows:

  • Keith Hutchings from Canadian Center for Fisheries Innovation: Welcome
  • Paul Dobbins from WWF: Seaweed Farming as a Nature Based Solution- Opportunities and Challenges from WWF's Perspective
  • Kate Burns from Islander Rathlin Kelp: Farmed Kelp, What Market?
  • Olavur Gregersen from Ocean Rainforest Faroe Islands: Scaling up Kelp Farming in the North Atlantic
  • Anne Marit Bjørnflaten from Oceanfood AS North Norway: Macroalgae: A New and Sustainable Aquaculture Industry with Huge Potential in the Arctic
  • Jónas R. Viðarsson from Matís Iceland: Seaweed Production on the Rise in Iceland
  • Cyr Courtourier from the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University in Newfoundland: Future Prospects for Seaweed Farming Across Canada in a Subarctic Environment
  • Q&A

Learn more about the event or the Laurentic Forum