Growth rate of cod in aquaculture increased by light

The growth rate of cod in aquaculture can be increased using a natural method, according to results from the European project CODLIGHT-TECH, which is led by scientists at Matvælarannsóknir Íslands (Matís). The results indicate that it is possible to encourage growth and slow down the puberty of cod in aquaculture. These results are innovative and important in the development of cod farming in the world, but they can contribute to shorter farming times, improved feed utilization and more efficient cod farming.

Furthermore, it can be said that the results are interesting because energy prices are low in Iceland and therefore this is a real option for Icelandic farmers.

Blood samples taken from cod

The research is a joint project of Matís, Hraðfrystihús Gunnvarar and Álfsfell in Ísafjörður, Stirling University and Johnson Seafarms in Scotland, Intravision Group, the Marine Research Institute in Bergen and Fjord Marin in Norway and the Agricultural University of Lund in Sweden. In addition, Vaki DNG participates in the project.

Dr. Þorleifur Ágústsson, project manager at Matís, says that it is very important to be able to prevent sexual maturation in cod in farming. When a cod reaches sexual maturity, it stops growing so that the rearing period is extended with associated costs for the farmer.

It is also known that cod spawn in sea cages and therefore it can be considered that fertilized eggs are released into the environment, but it should be noted that no negative mixing of genetic material has been shown and such research is still in its infancy. This is a very important step towards making fire an environmentally friendly industry with improved feed utilization, which means that less feed falls to the bottom under pens. "In parallel with this research, Matís and partners are working on extensive research into the environmental impact of aquaculture with the aim of increasing the sustainability of cod farming, which means that the resource is not wasted," says Dr. Þorleifur Ágústsson.

"Following the debate in Europe on aquaculture, it is clear that cod farming is generally considered to be the next major aquaculture industry after salmon farming. It is predicted that by 2010 European nations' production of farmed cod will reach around 175,000 tonnes, with a market value of around EUR 880 million. Therefore, producers place great emphasis on defining and solving the problems that can affect the development of the industry, but one of those problems is the sexual maturity of farmed cod, "says Þorleifur.


Meeting in Ísafjörður in the Codlight project

There has been some discussion recently about a project that Matís is working on, called Codlight, which aims, among other things, to delay the maturation of farmed cod by using special lights. Today and tomorrow there are meetings in Ísafjörður in the project.

A news item on BB's website in Ísafjörður states that Matís ohf, together with partners in the European project Codlight-tech, will hold a project meeting in Ísafjörður on 2 and 3 May. The project, which has been worked on in Álftafjörður as well as Norway and Scotland, is about using high-tech lighting equipment to prevent the sexual maturation of cod in farming. On the occasion of the meeting, Matís' partner in the project, Johnson Seafarms, will present their company and production.

Johnson Seafarms is one of the oldest farming companies in the British Isles and the largest single cod farming company in the world. Johnson's production is about 2000 tons of cod per year and the company's forecasts assume that in 2010 the production of farmed cod will be around 15 thousand tons. Johnson Seafarms is known in the British Isles for the "No Catch" brand - and in the lecture, Alan Bourhill, the company's research director and welfare representative, will discuss the origin of this brand and its importance in marketing.

Partners in the Codlight-tech project are in addition to Matís ohf who is in charge of the project: Hraðfrystihúsið Gunnvör, Álfsfell, Havsforsknings institutet in Bergen and Fjord Marin in Norway, Stirling University and Johnson Seafarms in Scotland, Landbúnaðarháskólinn in Uppsala in Sweden and Intravision Group in Sweden manufacturer of lighting equipment.

The lecture starts at 13 today, 2 May in the Development Center in Ísafjörður and is open to everyone. The lecture is in English.


Got lobster at the opening of an office in Höfn

The Minister of Finance, Árni Mathiesen, formally opened the Matís office (Matvælarannsóknir Íslands) and the Lobster Hotel in Höfn in Hornafjörður today. At the opening, the Minister and Sjöfn Sigurgísladóttir, CEO of Matís, enjoyed fresh lobster from the Lobster Hotel.

Sjöfn Sigurgísladóttir, CEO of Matís, said at the opening that the goal of the Höfn office was to strengthen research work, create facilities and a platform for increased collaboration with the business community and promote value creation in collaboration with food companies in the area.


Hjalti Vignisson, Mayor of Höfn, said that it was important for the area to get food research companies like Matís to strengthen development work and promote a more diverse economy.


At the Lobster Hotel, which is a collaborative project between Matís, the East Iceland Entrepreneurship Center, Sæplast, the Marine Research Institute and Skinney Þinganes, it is possible to store live lobsters caught in the depths of Hornafjörður. The lobster is transported live to the hotel where it is stored in refrigerated conditions. It is then transported live to the market abroad. A pilot project on the export of live lobster has been going on for the past few months and the lobster has already been exported to Belgium.


The project has therefore been very successful, but we have managed to get up to a third higher price for live lobster from Höfn than frozen lobster.

Figure 1: Árni Mathiesen, Minister of Finance, and Sjöfn Sigurgísladóttir, CEO of Matís, taste fresh lobster from the Lobster Hotel at the opening of Matís' office in Höfn.

Figure 2: Friðrik Friðriksson, Chairman of the Board of Matís, and Árni Mathiesen, Minister of Finance.

Figure 3: Hjalti Vignisson, Mayor of Höfn, and Ari Þorsteinsson, Executive Director of the East Iceland Entrepreneurship Center.


Guidelines for sensory evaluation of food packaging

The Nordic Committee for Food Methodology (NMKL) has issued guidelines on sensory evaluation of food packaging. They are in Swedish and are called Guidelines for sensory assessment of food packaging and among the authors is Emilía Martinsdóttir, project manager at Matís.

The Nordic Committee for Food Methodology (NMKL) is a committee of the Nordic Council, which is made up of representatives from all the Nordic countries. Iceland's representatives in NMKL are six from four institutions or companies, three of which are from Matís. They are Franklín Georgsson, division manager, Margrét Geirsdóttir, project manager and Heiða Pálmadóttir, department manager. The committee is one of several committees that work in a forum called Nordic forum on food.

According to the Nordic Council's website, "the aim of Nordic co - operation in food is to protect consumers' health, prevent misleading labeling and encourage the consumption of healthier foods."

NMKL's role is, among other things, to coordinate methods for testing and evaluating food in the Nordic countries, as well as to prepare instruction booklets for quality control in laboratories related to food research and in the food industry.

The guidelines cover sensory evaluation of food packaging, how to train judges and how to perform sensory evaluation. In the sensory evaluation of packaging, foods must be selected for the sensory evaluation tests and the properties of the foods must be taken into account, for example whether beverages, high-fat or low-fat foods with a low water content, dairy products, etc. In this case, a shelf life test is often carried out where the food is stored in the relevant packaging for a certain period of time. The guidelines are clear and should be useful to both food packaging manufacturers and food manufacturers. The instructions are in Swedish but we are working on translating them into English.

As stated earlier, Emilía Martinsdóttir, project manager at Matís, is one of the authors of the guidelines, while another Icelandic author is Ása Þorkelsdóttir, who worked for IFL for many years. For further information, contact Emilia at 422 5032, who has been at the forefront of the use of sensory evaluation in the food industry in Iceland for many years.


Matís advertises for staff in the Westfjords and in Reykjavík

Matís advertises for several employees in the Westfjords and in Reykjavík. In the Westfjords, there is an advertisement for Aflakaupabanki's project manager, a specialist in specific measurements and a project manager in the field of processing technology.

There are also advertisements for two assistants in the microbiological laboratory and the chemical laboratory.

Further information about the jobs can be found here.


Live lobsters from Iceland draw attention to the fisheries exhibition in Brussels

Hundreds of live lobsters from Iceland, which were brought to the European Seafood Exposition in Brussels, Belgium, attracted a lot of attention from visitors to the exhibition.

The lobsters, which were caught in Hornarfjarðardjúpur, were first transported to the lobster hotel, which is run by Matís (Icelandic Food Research) and the East Iceland Entrepreneurship Center. There they were cooled before they were exported by Icelandair Cargo to Brussels. The lobsters were then transported to the booth of the company OOJEE. The lobsters are considered healthy in size but they are about 100 gr. to weight on average.

Fishing and transporting live lobsters from Hornafjörður is part of a pilot project by Matís, Frumkvöðlasetus Austurlands and Skinney Þinganes. It is funded by the AVS Research Fund.

The European Seafood Exposition exhibition in Brussels started last. Tuesday and ends today, April 26th. In fact, there are two exhibitions in the same place: the European Seafood Exposition, which shows seafood and Seafood Processing Europe with machines, equipment, services and other equipment for the fishing industry.

In the picture are fv: Guðmundur Gunnarsson, Matís, Ari Þorsteinsson, Executive Director of the East Iceland Entrepreneurship Center, and Karl Jóhannesson, OOJEE.


Vísindagarður in Sauðárkrókur is starting to work

Yesterday, the company Verið Vísindagarðar ehf. presented at an open meeting in Sauðárkrókur. One of the main goals of the Verse is to promote the development of the economy, strengthen research and study opportunities and increase value creation in collaboration with companies in the area.

At the introductory meeting, the Minister of Fisheries, Einar K. Guðfinnsson, said that Verið Vísindagarðar was a successful way of developing the economy in the area, especially in the food industry. He said that the ministry had made an effort to increase the number of specialist jobs at the ministry's institutions in the countryside, but that they had increased by the last 25 semesters and that a similar number was at least foreseeable. In his speech, the Minister emphasized the importance of increasing employment opportunities for university-educated people in rural areas, as well as study opportunities, and said that the establishment of Versinn Vísindagarður was part of that.

The company Verið Vísindagarðar ehf was founded earlier this year and will handle the operation of teaching and research facilities in the form of science parks in connection with Hólar University, Matís (Matvælarannsóknir Íslands), FISK Seafood and other parties. The company aims for further development in this field by creating facilities and a platform for increased collaboration between the business community, domestic and foreign universities and researchers.

Vísindagarður is currently run in a 1,500 square meter building at Háeyri 1, where Hólar University has facilities for teaching and research in aquaculture, fish biology, marine and aquatic biology. Matís also has operations there for the company Iceprotein, which produces protein from fish cuts. The Minister of Fisheries said at the introductory meeting that Matís' participation in research and development work at Verin had, among other things, the aim of creating benefits for the business community and promoting further investment and job creation. The same applies to the activities of research institutes under the Ministry of Fisheries in many parts of the country.

Science parks, such as those that have been opened in Sauðárkrókur, have been established at numerous universities abroad because experience shows that such activities are a powerful way to strengthen settlements and communities with extensive university work in close collaboration with companies, institutions and municipalities.

Due to the great interest of those who come to Verin and others, there are already plans to significantly improve the existing housing; such as research facilities and additional work facilities for teachers, students and researchers.

Gísli Svan Einarsson has been appointed managing director of Versinn, having previously worked as a shipping manager at FISK Seafood in Sauðárkrókur. Gísli provides all further information by phone: 825 4409.


Introductory meeting on technology and science in Skagafjörður

Wednesday 25 April between 16-18 there will be an open house in the Verin-Þróunarsetrin by the harbor in Sauðárkrókur where various innovative projects that are being worked on in the area will be presented. The occasion is the establishment of a new company called Verið Vísindagarðar ehf.

The plant was formally opened th. March 7 last year in the premises of FISK Seafood by the harbor in Sauðárkrókur. The development center is a collaborative project between Matís, the University of Akureyri, the University of Iceland, FISK Seafood and Hólar University, and the Ministries of Industry and Fisheries jointly worked together. ISK 10 million for the project at the opening of the development center.

A special company, Verið Vísindagarðar ehf, has now been established to take care of teaching and research facilities in the development center.

Advertisement from Verin


Breasts, bone choking, potholes, seals? - No thanks!

Most cooking enthusiasts are familiar with it New cuisine or Haute cuisine, which became popular in France in the 1980s, with an emphasis on light and healthy food, such as plenty of vegetables and light sauces, instead of the traditional, heavy French cuisine with wheat sauces and accompanying cream. Now it's time for Nordic cuisine to renew its life.

The Nordic Nordic Food, Cuisine, Food project was launched by the Nordic Council of Ministers in the autumn of 2006 and aims to promote and make the Nordic food culture more visible. The project aims to create a common understanding of Nordic ingredients and a vision for development in Nordic food culture. The project aims to strengthen the vision and create a tradition for the brand "New Nordic Foods", which is based on healthy and varied Nordic ingredients.

In some ways it can be said that "New Nordic cuisine" is based on a similar foundation as new cuisine, i.e. to develop Nordic values within Nordic food culture and traditions, cuisine, ingredients, tourism, health and hygiene, job creation, design and value creation in food production.

Establish co-operation between the Nordic countries on Nordic food and food culture activities. With the project, the Nordic Council of Ministers wants to support all kinds of activities that contribute to the positive development of Nordic food.

According to Emilia, the steering group has discussed measures to increase food exports and support domestic food production, as well as the need to define "New Nordic food" with regard to the different food traditions of the individual Nordic countries and create a positive image among the Nordic people. There is also a need to encourage innovation in Nordic food production and to promote home production in a district based on local ingredients. NNM means "new Nordic food" both as everyday food, banquet and export of food. Projects in the field of Nordic food production will be advertised in terms of cuisine and Nordic design and tourism.

The Nordic Council of Ministers has now advertised for the first grant applications or proposals for projects supported by NNM in 2007. Projects supported by NNM are for one year at a time and it is stated that NNM does not support research. The application deadline for project ideas is 11 May. Grants in the range of 100,000-500,000 DKK will be awarded, which means that a total of grants will be awarded for 8-10 projects in 2007.

The emphasis is on visibility and collaboration in the form of networks. The focus of these initial projects is on local production and distribution, cooking and cooking, and Nordic food design. Participants must be from at least three Nordic countries.

More information on the Nordic Council of Ministers' website


Eating farmed fish is a matter of conscience

Discussions about animal welfare and environmentally friendly food production have increased in recent years. The debate takes on various forms and is mixed in with various issues, as recent news from the UK about the pressure of whaling opponents on retail chains not to sell fish from certain Icelandic companies testifies.

This debate is actually a bit relative, as a large part of humanity can not afford to wonder whether the animals that are put to death have suffered or not before slaughter. Such questions of conscience are, therefore, first and foremost the luxury of rich nations. But these speculations are a fact nonetheless and will probably have an increasing impact on consumer behavior in important Icelandic markets in the coming years.

In aquaculture, emphasis has been placed on establishing various regulations regarding aquaculture, and one of the points of view that has been discussed is precisely animal welfare in aquaculture production. It is therefore important to examine whether different treatment of fish in relation to animal welfare actually affects the quality of the product. If that is the case, it could affect consumers.

In the autumn of 2006, an extensive study was carried out as part of the participation of the Fisheries Research Institute (now Matís, ohf) in the EU-funded SEAFOODplus project. The aim was to examine whether farmed cod, which were produced with special regard to animal welfare on the one hand, and on the other hand produced in the traditional way, had different quality characteristics. A consumer survey was also conducted to examine whether consumers had different tastes for these products and whether different information about the fire had an effect on how consumers liked the products.

In the latest issue. Rannísblaðið covered two of the members of the study, Emilía Martinsdóttir and Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir, about the study. In short, the results indicate that if consumers did not know whether the farmed fish had been farmed with special regard to the welfare of the fish or not, they would have preferred farmed cod that were farmed in the traditional way.

It turned out, however, that when consumers received information about the farming methods, they preferred the fish that was farmed for the welfare of the fish and found it natural that fish that were farmed in such conditions were more expensive than traditional farmed fish.

These results suggest that food labeling and what information is given on the packaging is important for consumers. They also suggest that people not only use traditional senses when evaluating food, but also eat "with the heart."

Recently was also a discussion of this topic on the SEAFOODplus website

Article in Rannísblaðið