Demersal fish species have historically been an important part of the research of Matís and its predecessors, as these species are important in the value creation of the Icelandic fisheries sector, and cod are at the forefront of this category.
Matís' research projects in the value chain of demersal fish species have been varied, from fisheries management, first processing and all the way to the consumer's plate. These projects have always been carried out in close collaboration with companies in the fisheries sector. In recent years, the projects have focused on further utilization of underutilized raw materials and improving processes within the value chain.
The sharp increase in exports of fresh fish products in recent decades has called for improved processes, not least in the field of catch handling, processing, packaging and temperature control in transport. There has been a continuing development of technology for handling fresh fish on board processing vessels, towards further automation. These projects have resulted in improved quality of demersal fish catches, better utilization and increased product stability. At the back of the chain, research has focused on opportunities for value added, including increased data visibility and the provision of information in the demersal fish value chain for market segregation. Utilization of this involves activating the existing technological solutions on the market or developing new and exciting solutions with the aim of increasing the data diet within the value chain, all the way to consumers.
Matís' ongoing challenges are to improve utilization and increase value creation from by-products of catfish processing. It can be stated that great progress has been made towards better utilization of raw materials, systematic product development and further food processing of by-products. Recent projects in this field have contributed to the increased utilization of proteins, both from various by-products of whitefish processing as well as proteins that can be processed from water used in fish processing. The results of these projects indicate that there is still a great opportunity to capture value from underutilized raw materials in catfish processing using relatively simple and cost-effective methods.