A new web application for calculating nutritional values


Ólafur Reykdal

Project Manager

The Matís website now offers a web application to calculate the nutritional value of food based on a recipe. The program retrieves information from Matís' ÍSGEM database, but it facilitates calculations of the nutritional value.

The web application was developed in the project New solutions in the work of food labeling but it was funded by the Food Fund. The project was carried out in collaboration with the Association of small food producers / Direct from the farm. Matís has worked with the association for many years, so it was clear that there was a need to facilitate the work on food labeling. The web application is supposed to speed up and simplify the work on food labeling, as it is possible to work with both ÍSGEM data and your own data. It is very important for small producers to keep track of information about all raw materials. The web application comes with a detailed manual on how to use the application and other information needed for food labeling. Programming work was done by the company Hugsjá ehf.

The web application can be accessed here.

Instructions for using the web application can be found here:


Extended accreditation of Matís microbiology laboratory

The Microbiology team in Reykjavík has been using MALDI-TOF technology (matrix assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry) for years to research and analyse a vast number of microbial strains.

Recently our Swedac accreditation has expanded to allow the accredited use of the MALDI-TOF biotyper to confirm Listeria monocytogenes.  The technology allows the laboratory to confirm Listeria monocytogenes and this is therefore a significant step forward in the speed of species identification of living bacteria. The aim is to expand the laboratory's accreditation to use this rapid technology for species identification of more disease-causing bacteria, and that process is well advanced.

Further information:

Basic Principles of Matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry


Re-certification of the equal pay system


Marta Gall Jörgensen

Human Resource Manager

Last January, we did an audit of Matís' equal pay system, but Matís was first certified in January 2020, and we have therefore worked according to an equal pay system for three years. This is the first time a re-certification audit has been carried out on the Matís equal pay system and we are happy to announce that the Matís equal pay system has now received a new certification that it meets the requirements of the standard ÍST 85:2012, in accordance with Article 7. regulation no. 1030/2017, on certification of equal pay systems of companies and institutions based on the standard ÍST 85, cf. provisions of law no. 150/2020, on equal status and equal rights of the sexes. 


See the TV program about the project Green entrepreneurs of the future


Justine Vanhalst

Project Manager

A special TV program dedicated to the Matís project Green entrepreneurs of the future was shown on the TV station N4 recently.

One of the main outcomes of the project was teaching material about climate change and its effects on the ocean, marine ecosystems, fisheries and communities. The teaching material, which includes, among other things, teaching instructions, information, tasks, games and experiments, is aimed at students in the oldest grades of elementary school and will be trialled in three elementary schools in the school year 2021-2022.

Watch the episode here:


Matís is advertising for a project manager in Vestmannaeyjar


Tinna Brá Sigurðardóttir

Human Resource 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 workplace is in the creative environment of ÞSV and partners at Ægisgatu 2 in Vestmannaeyjar.

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. The office in Vestmannaeyjar will be in good contact with food producers in the whole of the South. The person concerned will provide services including food research, consultancy and grant applications to research funds in collaboration 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, for example food science, fisheries science, engineering, business science or technical education 

■ 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, department manager at Matís 422 5107. 

The application deadline is 13 November

Photo credit: Shutterstock


New method for monitoring the seabed ecosystem during fish farming in sea cages


Davíð Gíslason

Project Manager

Matís, RORUM, the University of Iceland, the Technical University of Denmark (Danmarks Tekniske Universitet, DTU) and Fiskeldi Austfjarda (Ice Fish Farm) have teamed up on the project BIOTOOL. The project aims at developing new genetic methods for monitoring seabed ecosystems during fish farming in sea cages.

BIOTOOL is a large-scale project, which is unique in that it will use a database spanning over 20-years and advanced technology to study and monitor changes in animal communities associated with fish farming operations. The aim is to develop an economically feasible and more accurate method for monitoring changes in benthic fauna during fish farming, which will both increase efficiency and sustainability as well as being an important guidance tool for legislators.

The BIOTOOL project is based on long-term data on the diversity of benthic invertebrates below and near fish farms and how species composition and biodiversity changes with increased organic load associated with fish farming. In the project, the latest genetic technology in environmental research will be applied, where environmental DNA (eDNA) will be used to measure changes in the bottom habitat under and close to sea cages. The project will use a state-of-the-art Environmental Sampling Processor (EPS) to selectively isolate genetic material directly from seawater and quantify the genetic material from five animal species. The project aims at defining five invertebrate species, indicator species, which show variation in number of individuals with changes in organic load from aquaculture. Genetic eDNA markers will be developed in the laboratory before the method is adapted for the ESP, which can be placed in fjords around Iceland for automatic monitoring of organic load.

BIOTOOL is funded by the Icelandic Technology Development Fund.


Nordic Salmon workshop

Nordic Salmon workshop will be held on October 19 at the town hall in Ölfus. The meeting is held in collaboration with Ölfus Cluster in Þorlákshöfn.

This workshop aim is to connect and support a broad range of stakeholders working in the salmon farming industry in the Nordic region, with the focus of exploring options and feasibility for secondary processing. This group includes salmon farms, sales and marketing, technical designers, processing equipment developers, research groups and transport/freight companies.

The objective of the project is to establish a network of specialists to analyze if secondary processing of salmon is a feasible option in the Nordic. The group will then evaluate the viable production scale and list necessary tasks and suggestions to achieve the overall objective.

The original idea behind this project is to use knowledge transfer from the Icelandic fresh cod industry success to the Nordic salmon industry to facilitate valorisation and create jobs in the Nordic countries. By using the future “smart” secondary processing factories and make ready-to-eat production economically feasible, provide added value to the Nordic salmon industry. Filleted salmon and portions will reduce export cost and allows local utilisation and processing of side products that are currently exported, such as cut-offs, bones and heads, as well as reducing the carbon footprint.

Registration has begun!

Register by clicking the register button below:

The workshop will be held in English.

Draft schedule:

08:30 Opening the workshop: Short introduction to the SWOT analysis, Sæmundur Elíasson
08:45 Address, Elliði Vignisson, mayor of Ölfus municipality
09:00-10:30 Session 1Competitiveness in secondary processing in the Nordics

  1. Halldor Thorkelson, Marel
  2. Frank Yri, Seaborn/Iceborn
  3. Per Alfred Holte, Maritech

10:30 – 11:00 Coffee

11:00 – 12:30 Session 2: Marketing and environmental footprint

  1. Ingólfur Friðriksson, EEA affair, Ministry of foreign affairs
  2. Sigurður Pétursson, Nova Food
    1. "Consumer decision making and carbon footprint"
  3. Audun Iversen, Nofima
  4. Jón Hafbo Atlason, Hiddenfjord

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch

13:30 - 14:45 Session 3: Side streams production

  1. Matti Isohätälä, Hätälä
  2.  Dennis Lohman, BAADER

14:45 Coffee break

15:15 – 16:00 Discussions and Round up

16:00 Closing

17:00 Refreshments at Lax-inn Mýrargatu 26, 101 Reykjavík


Doctoral defense in biology – Pauline Anne Charlotte Bergsten

Next Monday, September 12, Pauline Bergsten will defend her doctoral thesis in biology. The project is called: Exploration of the Microbial Communities within the Basaltic Subsurface of the Volcanic Island Surtsey in Iceland

The doctoral defense takes place in The Aula of the HÍ main building and starts at 10:00.

Dr. Steffen L. Jörgensen, associate professor at the University of Bergen, Norway
Dr. Odd Þ. Vilhelmsson, professor at the University of Akureyri.

Advisor Dr. Viggó Þór Marteinsson, Professor at the Faculty of Food Science and Nutrition , University of Iceland and Research Group Leader at Matís

Doctoral committee:
Dr. Pauline Vannier, project manager at Matís
Dr. Snædís H. Björnsdóttir, associate professor at the Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences of the University of Iceland

Chair of Ceremony: Dr. Snæbjörn Pálsson, Professor and Head of the Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Iceland

Surtsey is a volcanic island located on the south-east offshore extension of the Icelandic rift zone. It was formed during successive eruptions from the seafloor in 1963-1967 and has been officially protected and studied ever since. It represents an exceptional natural setting for studying colonization and succession of life on land. Also for subsurface microbial communities associated with newly formed basaltic tuff deposits in a seawater-hydrothermal system that is still active and at temperatures approaching the presumed thermal limit for functional life.
During an international drilling operation at Surtsey in 2017, drill core samples at successive depths as well as associated hot fluids and surface fumes from fumaroles were collected for microbial investigations. This thesis presents the first and most comprehensive research of the Surtsey subsurface biosphere. Multiple approaches were combined on the rare and unique samples to increase the knowledge of microbial communities inhabiting the oceanic subsurface and of the processes that sustain such life.
These included molecular analyses of environmental DNA through 16S rRNA gene amplicon and metagenome sequencing, isolation and characterization of bacterial strains and microscopic investigations. Based on the DNA concentration, the microbial cell numbers present in the drill cores were estimated to range from about 5×104 to 1×106 cells per gram of sample.
The Surtsey subsurface is therefore a low biomass environment, making the samples extremely sensitive to external contamination. It is nevertheless a diverse habitat that hosts bacterial and archaeal clades, including extremophiles, that have been previously detected in other terrestrial and marine environments. Yet, many clades belonged to unknown lineages. Predictive functional analyses based on taxonomic identifications revealed that the Surtsey subsurface biosphere is composed of heterotrophic microorganisms as well as chemoautotrophs involved in the sulfur, nitrogen, and methane cycles. However, these results could not be strengthened by the functional metagenomic investigations as they were inconclusive. Numerous enrichment cultures were initiated using different conditions and media and resulted in nearly 200 isolated bacterial strains, which included several novel species. One novel thermophilic bacterial species, Rhodothermus bifroesti, was fully characterized and its genome was sequenced and compared with those of the two other described Rhodothermus species. Comparative analyses revealed that 2.15% of the amplicon sequence variants from the 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequence datasets were represented by cultivated strains using standard methods. Finally, putative microbial structures adhering to the basaltic tuff were discovered inside the numerous interconnected vesicles found in the basaltic glass.
All of the findings point to an active microbial colonization of the Surtsey deposits within 50 years after the eruptions ended, with possible sources of colonization coming from the surrounding ecosystems via microbial dissemination and possible adaptations.
The thesis establishes a foundation for future research on the microbial communities that inhabit the Surtsey subsurface and their temporal succession in the face of a cooling and changing hydrothermal environment.

More information can be found by clicking here.

The second HOLOSUSTAIN workshop "Sea cucumbers: a potential novel seafood in Europe?"

The second HOLOSUSTAIN workshop "Sea cucumbers: a potential novel seafood in Europe?" will take place on 20 May 2022, in mixed (physical and digital) format, at NMK, Ålesund, Norway.

You can find the final version of the scientific program at the link below. Some hotel suggestions for your stay.

Please, if interested, submit a digital poster, to be presented automatically during the event. It is free of charge and will be made available in pdf format in the Book of Abstracts as “open access” on the project website after the event. The blank poster presentation form for the digital posters during the event can be downloaded here.

If interested to participate or have questions, please, send us an e-mail through filling in the inscription form or using the mails in the contact section of this website or inscribe here. Registration open until 10 May. 

More information here.

Thermophilic bacterium isolated from the basaltic subsurface of the volcanic island Surtsey

A team lead by Matís' microorganisms researchers and specialists has recently published a research article in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. The article is called: Rhodothermus bifroesti sp. nov., a thermophilic bacterium isolated from the basaltic subsurface of the volcanic island Surtsey.

The volcanic island Surtsey is the southernmost point of Iceland and it was formed in volcanic eruptions that took place from 1963 to 1967. Surtsey has been protected from human interference since it was formed but has been a subject for many scientific researchers.

The Article was published online late January 2022 and the abstract is as follows:

Novel thermophilic heterotrophic bacteria were isolated from the subsurface of the volcanic island Surtsey off the south coast of Iceland. The strains were isolated from tephra core and borehole fluid samples collected below 70 m depth. The Gram-negative bacteria were rod-shaped (0.3–0.4 widem wide, 1.5–7 longm long), aerobic, non-sporulating and non-motile. Optimal growth was observed at 70 ° C, at pH 7–7.5 and with 1% NaCl. Phylogenetic analysis identified the strains as members of the genus Rhodothermus . The type strain, ISCAR-7401T, was genetically distinct from its closest relatives Rhodothermus marinus DSM 4252T and Rhodothermus profundi PRI 2902T based on 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity (95.81 and 96.01%, respectively), genomic average nucleotide identity (73.73 and 72.61%, respectively) and digital DNA – DNA hybridization (17.6 and 16.9%, respectively). The major fatty acids of ISCAR-7401T were iso-C17:0, anteiso-C15:0, anteiso-C17:0 and iso-C15:0 (> 10 %). The major isoprenoid quinone was MK-7 while phosphatidylethanolamine, diphosphatidylglycerol, an unidentified aminophospholipid and a phospholipid were the predominant polar lipid components. Based on comparative chemotaxonomic, genomic and phylogenetic analyzes, we propose that the isolated strain represents a novel species of the genus Rhodothermus with the name Rhodothermus bifroesti sp. nov. The type strain is ISCAR-7401T (= DSM 112103T= CIP 111906T).

Read the article in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology here: Rhodothermus bifroesti sp. nov., a thermophilic bacterium isolated from the basaltic subsurface of the volcanic island Surtsey.