Dr. Ásta H. Pétursdóttir (Matís), Dr. Helga Gunnlaugsdóttir (Matís), Natasa Desnica (Matís), Aðalheiður Ólafsdóttir (Matís), Susanne Kuenzel (University of Hohenheim), Dr. Markus Rodehutscord (University of Hohenheim), Dr. Chris Reynolds (University of Reading), Dr. David Humphries (University of Reading), James Draper (ABP).
Ásta Heiðrún E. Pétursdóttir
Head of Public Health and Food Safety
SeaCH4NGE results include a detailed analysis of the chemical composition of seaweed, including heavy metals and nutritional composition. Iodine concentration proved to be the main limiting factor regarding seaweed as a feed supplement. The decrease in methane observed in laboratory methane production experiments (in vitro) is likely due to compounds called fluorotannin rather than bromoform, a known substance that can reduce methane production in ruminants. In vitro screening of the seaweed showed a moderate decrease in methane, but lower methane production was dependent on seaweed species. The reduction was dose-dependent, ie by using more algae, a greater methane reduction could be seen in vitro. The same two types of seaweed were used in the Rusitec experiment (in vitro), which is a very comprehensive analysis that provides further information. An in-vivo study in cows showed that feeding cattle with a mixture of brown algae has a relatively small effect on methane emissions. However, fluorotannins are known to have other beneficial effects when consumed by ruminants. The report also includes a survey of British cow farmers' attitudes towards algae feeding and climate change.
The project is divided into six work components, ie. 1) Project management, 2) analysis of the smart brands on the market and their use in the food industry, 3) analysis of the needs and expectations of consumers and other stakeholders for smart brands, 4) analysis of, and proposals for, new service opportunities related to smart brands. Where 19 implementations of improved service were presented, 5) tests of selected solutions proposed in previous work components, 6) dissemination.
The activity section, which dealt with the analysis of smart tag technology and the use of smart tags in food value chains, was mostly about finding and analyzing published material on smart tags and food. The focus was on finding out which labels are most commonly used in the food sector and how much they are used. Their main advantages and disadvantages were also analyzed. Consumer confidence in the labels and the messages they contain was a key factor in the analysis. The smart tags that were discussed in this project were, for example, tags that detect temperature, freshness, gas and biomaterials, barcodes, QR codes and signals that send electronic messages (RFID). The project included a comprehensive survey of the published results of research projects and articles in professional journals on the subject. The analysis indicated that little research has been done on whether consumers trust smart brands, whether they are interested in using them or whether the use of such brands creates added value for manufacturers. The results of the analysis also indicate that there are still technical restrictions on what can be done with the labels, to meet the demands of consumers and producers. The results of this paper will be published later in a peer-reviewed scientific paper.
The task, which was to assess the expectations and needs of consumers and other stakeholders for smart brands, was comprehensive. It was based in part on the results of a previous project, but in addition interviews were conducted with manufacturers, suppliers and retailers in nine countries; so-called focus groups were held with consumers, and online surveys were held where over 4 thousand people responded. At Matís, two focus groups were held that dealt specifically with clever labeling of seafood. Matís also conducted an online survey on the same topic, which was answered by about 500 people. The results of this paper will be published later in a peer-reviewed scientific paper. Among the results is that smart brands can increase the value of food and the consumer experience, at the same time as there is a willingness to pay for consumers to pay higher prices for products with smart brands.
The project, which focused on identifying new service options that use smart tags, went into an extensive SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Threats and Opportunities) analysis of smart tag technology in the food industry. In the work component, 19 methods were analyzed and the ones that were considered the most respectable were tested in the next work component. That component tested four types of pre-pilot smart brands in several food value chains. The labels tested are:
· Freshness indicator (Nitrogen Smart Tag indicator) - Since nitrogen is formed in food when it is damaged, the amount of nitrogen gives an indication of freshness. In this smart tag solution, the QR code was printed with a color that changes color when it comes in contact with a certain amount of nitrogen. Consumers can therefore scan the QR code to see the freshness of the product. However, this is a solution where the color changes when the amount of nitrogen exceeds a certain threshold and therefore the current limit of this solution is that the information obtained is only fresh or not (depending on where this threshold is set. Further development of this solution This freshness indicator was tested at Matís in Iceland, AZTI in Spain and KU Leuven in Belgium on different foods. It is therefore likely that further development and innovation of this solution will be undertaken by Matís and partners in the future.
· Temperature monitor (NFC Smart Tag Temperature logger) - a small smart tag that is pasted on the packaging to monitor the temperature. Consumers or other stakeholders in food value chains can then connect to the label via mobile phones and see the temperature trajectory. In fact, the participants in the project were of the opinion that this solution was less interesting for general consumers, but all the more important for producers, carriers, retailers and others with expertise to assess the effect of temperature on the quality and shelf life of food. The temperature monitor was tested at Matís in Iceland and VTT in Finland.
· Oxygen indicator (Oxygen Smart Tag indicator) works similarly to the freshness indicator, where it is printed with a color that changes color when it comes in contact with oxygen. This solution works well on foods that are in vacuum or aerated packaging, as the oxygen indicator then shows whether the packaging is "leaking" or not. The oxygen indicator was tested at AZTI in Spain and KU Leuven in Belgium.
· Tap mark (e. 'Wine Cap 'Tag) are labels attached to the cork of a wine bottle. They emit electronic signals that smartphones can receive and thus receive various information about the bottle, such as where the wine was grown, quality tests and information about pairing with food. The label also has a built-in thermometer that lets you know when the wine is at the right temperature for consumption. This label was tested by the University of Reading.
The Smart Brand project was defined as a dissemination project, where the main goal was to gather and share knowledge about smart brands. It is safe to say that these goals have been achieved, as about 6,500 people had directly contributed to the project through interviews, focus groups and consumer surveys, in addition to which over 60 thousand people have visited websites with information from the project.
Although this project is now complete, it is clear that further research and innovation will take place in this area. The participants in the project are therefore grateful to have had the opportunity to work on this very exciting project and will no doubt continue that work.
Holding of Sea Urchins and Scallops in a RAS Transport System
Trials were carried out at Matís on holding live sea urchins and scallops in a RAS system developed by Technion, Israel, which not only recirculates the water, but additionally controls the pH and removes toxic ammonia. The aim of the trials was to test the feasibility of holding sea urchins and scallops alive in the RAS system for 10 days at 4 ° C, with at least 90% survival. The project was funded by EIT food, and the participants were Technion and Matís.
The survival of sea urchins held in the RAS system at 4 ° C was high during the first five days. Eight days from catch the survival was only 80%, after 12 days about 50% and after 15 days, 10%. Sea urchins, packed in the standard way of transporting live urchins (in polystyrene boxes at 4 ° C) were at similar quality as the RAS stored sea urchins, five days from catch and the roe was still edible at eight days from catch. All the urchins in the polystyrene boxes were dead after 12 days storage and the roe inedible.
Scallops had a high survival when held in the RAS system or about 89% after 24-days at 4 ° C.
In September 2019 two live holding trials with Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) were carried out at Matís where the fish was kept for up to eight days in a RAS holding and transport system developed by Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. The RAS system, which recirculated the water, controlled the pH and removed accumulated ammonia, was set up in a 40 feet reefer tank to control the temperature at 4 ° C. The project was funded by EIT food and the participants were Technion and Matís.
The results show that Arctic char could be held at a density of 80 kg / m3 at 4 ° C for 8 days in the RAS system, without adverse effects on mortality. Moreover, no differences were found in the sensory quality (flavor, odor, appearance and texture) of the stored fish compared to fish before it was placed in the RAS system. The stored fish had however more gaping, higher cooking yield and marginally lighter color than fish before placing in the system.
However, a bio-load of 135-145 kg / m3 Arctic char in the RAS storage and holding system led to a high mortality. Moreover, on slaughter the surviving fish had adverse sensory quality as indicated by loss of characteristic flavor and odor as well as firmer, drier and tougher texture. The fish had a high incidence of gaping, a high cooking yield and showed evidence of deformation on cooking.