New Matís Report: A new evaluation system for mutton has proven successful

In 1998, a new meat assessment for mutton was introduced in Iceland according to so-called EUROP system, in which carcasses are classified according to fat and body filling is much more accurate than before. During the slaughter season 2003 0g 2004, an assessment was made of the effectiveness of the EUROP system in Iceland, and a report has now been published on Matís with the results of that survey.

The report, called Evaluation of mutton assessment and is by Ásbjörn Jónsson and Óla Þór Hilmarsson, is a final report for the years 2003 and 2004 and it discusses results regarding the utilization of carcasses and individual pieces, as well as measurements of weight and size of all the main pieces of the carcass according to the EUROP assessment categories. In 2004, a MATRA progress report was published under the same name and by the same authors, but the project was funded by the Productivity Fund and the Executive Committee for Agricultural Contracts.

The aim of the project was, among other things, to establish a database that would contain information on the composition, utilization, usefulness and nutritional value of dilka meat according to different assessment categories of the EUROP system, but such information could facilitate price calculations at all stages of dilka meat processing.

The ice report states, among other things, that there has been a great development in the production and processing of lamb in recent years. Cultivation work has aimed to increase muscle and reduce fat in carcasses, and in processing, liposuction is greater than before. With increased meat filling comes more meat and is therefore a better selling product.

With an assessment of the amount of meat, fat and bones from whole carcasses and individual parts of it in each assessment category, it is possible to establish a powerful information and database that facilitates price calculations at all stages of the dilka meat processing process. Could this information be useful when exporting dilka meat, as it is common for foreign buyers of lamb meat to want to know the proportion of meat and fat in individual pieces and in whole carcasses in different assessment categories. 

The authors of the report say that the results will be useful for education, market promotion, product development and not least, farmers will receive better information about their products. They also say that it is possible to use the results of the project as basic information in the meat industry, for example regarding the pricing of carcasses and when selecting carcasses for different processing methods.

Read the report


Ice coating prolongs the shelf life of frozen products

In the fishing industry, ice-coating of frozen fish products has been practiced for decades with the aim of ensuring the quality of the products and extending the shelf life. Ice coating therefore has nothing to do with water pumped into food for other purposes. Ice skin, on the other hand, is a cheap and good solution and in fact the best available to protect loose frozen fish products.

Frozen foods are stored differently in the freezer, the foods both dry and crave even when frozen. In the fishing industry, ice-coating of frozen fish products has been practiced with the aim of ensuring the quality of the products and extending the shelf life. Ice skin is actually a package that adheres tightly to the product and protects it from drying out and cravings. Ice skin is therefore a cheap and good solution and in fact the best available to protect loose frozen fish products.

Frostbite reduces the quality of the product

Most buyers of frozen seafood require ice-frozen products to be ice-coated, certain criteria are set and it is common to use 6-8% ice-skins. However, it may vary from product to product. However, in all cases, this ice sheet must be taken into account when weighing as in the case of packaging, so that the consumer receives the net weight of the product. He should not pay the same price for the ice skin and the fish, it is a product fraud. However, it is a sign of quality that the fish is ice-coated.

However, ice skins do not protect the fish forever. It evaporates at different rates, however, depending on storage conditions. Ice skins, for example, are quickly stored in cold stores, where temperatures fluctuate widely. If the fish is in plastic bags, the water condenses again and forms frost. It is better that ice coating would frost than water out the fish itself because it causes drought which many call frostbite and reduces the quality of the product.

It is important to monitor the temperature

Ice skin that is 6-8% on the fish when it leaves the producer may have become useless after a few weeks in cold storage. In order to extend the storage of food in a home-frozen one, it is important to monitor the temperature carefully and ensure that the temperature does not fluctuate much. and into the freezer. Various information on freezing and processing seafood can be found on Matís ohf's website and on the educational website "To calm down"


Matís with posters at Fræðaþing 2007

The Agricultural Research Council will be held on the 15th -16th. February 2007 in the premises of Icelandic Genetics and in the Conference Halls of Hotel Saga. Several Matís experts have posters at the Research Conference this time.

There are four posters and they are the following in alphabetical order:

Effects of hypertension on growth Listeria and the visual structure of smoked salmon. The authors are Hannes Hafsteinsson, Birna Guðbjörnsdóttir and Ásbjörn Jónsson. Hannes and Ásbjörn are employees of Matís, but Birna previously worked for IFL.

Effect of chilling on lamb tenderloin. The authors are Ásbjörn Jónsson, Óli Þór Hilmarsson and Valur Norðri Gunnlaugsson. They are all Matís employees but previously worked at MATRA-Matvælarannsóknir Keldnaholt. It is worth mentioning that a report was recently published on Matís with the same name.  Read the report

Hypertension in meat processing.  The authors are Hannes Hafsteinsson, Ásbjörn Jónsson, Óli Þór Hilmarsson.

Iodine in agricultural products.  The authors are Ólafur Reykdal, Óli Þór Hilmarsson and Guðjón Atli Auðunsson. Ólafur now works for Matís but was previously with MATRA, but Guðjón is an employee of the Institute of Technology, but previously worked there for a long time at IFL.

More about Fræðaþing 2007


Humarhótel Matís in Höfn attracts attention

It is possible to get up to three times higher prices for live lobsters than lobsters that are sold frozen, according to the episode Krossgötur on Rás 1.

It discusses a so-called lobster hotel in Höfn, which is run by Matís. At the lobster hotel, lobsters are kept alive for a certain period of time from the time they are caught so that they can be sold when demand is higher.

You can listen to a review of the lobster hotel here.


Profitable projects at Matís

Emphasis will be placed on profitable research projects in collaboration with the business community, according to the Market's interview with Sjöfn Sigurgísladóttir, CEO of Matís ohf. It states that the emphases are to some extent different from those that characterized the institutions that flowed into the company.

It is also stated that an exciting year lies ahead for Matís and a number of prestigious projects in the field of food research. These include projects that are estimated to be able to increase the value of fish fillets here by more than ISK 3 billion a year by fully utilizing fish protein, which has so far been sold as animal feed, says the Market.


Use of NMR technology and MRI in food research: Conference 2008

In September 2008, a conference will be held in Iceland on the use of NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) technology and magnetic resonance imaging (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) in food research. Matís and the University of Iceland will take care of the preparations for the conference in this country.

The conference is entitled The 9th International Congress on the Applications of Magnetic Resonance in Food Science, but such conferences have been held every two years in Europe since 1992. To prepare the conference and get acquainted with the situation in Iceland, two renowned scientists from England. These were Professor Peter Belton of the University of East Anglia and Professor Graham Webb of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Professor Belton gave a short lecture this morning for Matís staff in Reykjavík and presented his research, but he will be one of the world's leading scientists on the use of NMR technology and magnetic resonance imaging in food research.

According to María Guðjónsdóttir, who organized the two men's visit to Iceland, they like the conditions for holding a conference in this country, but the conference will be held in the premises of the H.Í. Continuing Education Institute. next year. It is worth mentioning that Maria was invited to take part in the 8th conference, which was held in Nottingham, England last year.

View slides from Professor Belton's talk. (pdf file)


Evaluation of mutton assessment




Ásbjörn Jónsson, Óli Þór Hilmarsson

Supported by:

Productivity Fund, Executive Committee for Agricultural Contracts


Óli Þór Hilmarsson

Project Manager

Evaluation of mutton assessment

A new meat assessment for mutton according to the EUROP system was introduced in Iceland in the autumn of 1998. According to this, the carcasses are classified according to meat filling on the one hand and fat on the other. In the EUROP system, carcass filling is assessed in five main categories (E, U, R, O and P), where E is best and P is worst. Fat is also assessed in five main categories (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5), where 1 is the least and 5 the most. The fat subcategory, 3+, is also used in Iceland. In the EUROP system, the dilka carcasses are classified much more precisely by fat and body filling than was done in the old system. This precise classification serves both farmers, who get better information about their products, and meat processors who can better choose the type of meat carcass that is suitable for different processing. The aim of this project was to obtain information on the utilization, processing properties and chemical composition of dilka meat and dilka meat products, according to an assessment according to the EUROP system. During the 2003 and 2004 slaughter seasons, the assessment was carried out in three slaughterhouses. Carcasses in the following rating categories were studied: U2, U3, U3 +, U4, R1, R2, R3, R3 +, R4, O1, O2, O3, O3 +, P1 and P2. The right part of the carcass was divided into thighs, spine, beats and forequarters, to determine the ratio of meat, fat and bones. The left half was also disassembled and processed into products. Chemical measurements were performed on products to determine nutritional value. When carcasses were dissected into meat, fat, and bones, the average carcass meat content was 60%, the fat content averaged 19%, and the bone ratio averaged 18 %. Those who worked on the project were employees of Matís ohf. and Stefán Vilhjálmsson, chairman of the meat assessment, together with the employees of the slaughterhouses in question.

A new EU carcass classification system for lamb was introduced in Iceland in 1998. In the new system carcasses were evaluated according to conformation (EUROP classification: five classes, from E = '' good '', to P = '' bad '' conformation ) and fatness score (5 classes, from 1 = lean, to 5 = fat). The EU classification system is more accurate than the previous system and gives farmers more information about their carcasses and enables meat producers to select carcasses according to the different productions. The main objective of this study was to gain information about the utilization, processing quality and chemical combination of the carcasses, according to the new classification system. A study was performed in abattoirs in 2003-2004 according to the classification system. The right half of the carcasses were segmented into legs, loins, flanks and forequarters and then dissected into meat, fat and bone. The left half were segmented and processed further into final products. Chemical analysis was performed on the carcasses to estimate the nutritional value. The average proportion of the meat in the carcasses was 60%, proportion of the fat was 19% and the average bone proportion was 18%. The project was done by employees of Matís, Stefán Vilhjálmsson, chairman of the meat classification board, and the employees of the abattoirs.

View report


Article by Matís expert translated into Persian

One of the country's leading experts on the utilization of by-products from seafood is without a doubt Sigurjón Arason, engineer and head of Matís' Processing Department. An article on this subject was recently published in Persian on

The background to the case is that in addition to his work as a scientist at Matís, Sigurjón is a teacher, including an associate professor at the Department of Food and Nutrition at H.Í. and also teaches at the United Nations University School of Fisheries ( FTP-UNU). It was exactly one student of the latter school, Gholam Reza Shaviklo, who translated the article.

The article entitled "Utilization of Fish Byproducts in Iceland" first appeared in the Advances in Seafood Byproducts 2002 Conference Proceedings. Alaska Sea Grant College Program, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, 43-62.

Gholam Reza Shaviklo is a student of the school in the school year 2006-07, but a total of five students from Iran have studied at the school since its establishment in 1998, and the total number of students is 126 from 23 countries.


MA and VMA students participate in the Matís project

Last year, a project was launched to promote increased consumption of seafood, especially among young people. Recently, students at Menntaskólinn á Akureyri and Verkmenntaskóli Akureyrar took part in a consumer survey, which is part of the project. 

Recent surveys indicate that fish consumption in Iceland has decreased considerably in recent years, most notably among younger age groups. It is important to counteract this development, both from a health point of view, as fish is generally considered harmful, but also from an economic point of view.

Although so much fish is exported from Iceland, it must not be forgotten that the domestic market is important for Icelandic fisheries and fish processing companies. Young people today are an important consumer group of the future, so it is important to consider measures to reverse this trend, through targeted education, advertising and marketing. 

The goal of the project, called Attitudes and fish consumption of young people: Improving the image of seafood is precisely to promote increased consumption of seafood through consumption surveys and promotional campaigns. As previously stated, the project began at IFL last year and is expected to be completed in 2008. Work on the projects carried out at IFL and other institutions that merged at the turn of the year will continue under the Matís brand.

Article about the project in Ægi (pdf)


Matís' first report deals with the effect of refrigeration speed on lamb quality

The first report published by Matís ohf deals with research on how cooling speed affects the quality of lamb. It states, among other things, that in recent years, engine cooling in slaughterhouses has increased significantly and cooling in meat is therefore faster than before, which sometimes wants to reduce the quality of the meat.

The report is called Effect of chilling on lamb tenderloin and it states that the speed of cooling has a great influence on the quality of the meat and the cooling must follow the process of freezing to death in such a way that the quality of the meat is as high as possible. Too rapid cooling or freezing of lamb shortly after slaughter can cause cooling in the meat and result in stiffer (tougher) meat. According to Ásbjörn Jónsson, one of the authors of the report, better quality is achieved if you wait to freeze the meat until the process of death solidification is fully completed.

The main objective of the project was to study the texture properties (tenderness) of lamb meat at different refrigeration temperatures and times in slaughterhouses. Temperature measurements were made in dilka carcasses in the slaughterhouse of slaughterhouses at different air temperatures. Samples were taken from the vertebral body dilka carcasses after varying lengths of presence in the meat hall, and they were frozen. Texture measurements were then performed on the samples to assess the effect of cooling on the muscle. The study showed that meat stored in a meat hall and frozen the same day (after 4-5 hours) was stiffer than meat that had a longer cooling time in the meat hall after slaughter.

In addition to Ásbjörn, those who worked on the project were Óli Þór Hilmarsson and Valur Norðri Gunnlaugsson. They all worked for Matra, but started working for Matís ohf at the end of last year. The project was funded by the Agricultural Contracts Executive Committee.

Read the report