Reports

Comparison of transport modes and packaging methods for fresh fish products - storage life study and life cycle assessment

Published:

01/10/2012

Authors:

Björn Margeirsson, Birgir Örn Smárason, Gunnar Þórðarson, Aðalheiður Ólafsdóttir, Eyjólfur Reynisson, Óðinn Gestsson, Emilía Martinsdóttir, Sigurjón Arason

Supported by:

AtVest (Atvinnuþróunarfélag Vestfjarði)

Contact

Birgir Örn Smárason

Research Group Leader

birgir@matis.is

Comparison of transport modes and packaging methods for fresh fish products - storage life study and life cycle assessment

There is a great benefit in improved control of the value chain of exports of fresh fish knuckles for distribution in retail chains in the UK. Improved packaging methods could increase the shelf life of a product, which is fundamental to this business. With an airtight container, it would be possible to transport the product in a sludge tank with a low temperature (down to -1 ° C), which would both reduce the transport cost significantly and could also extend the shelf life of the product. The method also provides the option of packaging with consumer information, which makes further packaging abroad unnecessary. In air transport, it would be possible to pack all goods in a 12 kg foam box instead of 3 kg, as is most common today, thus saving significant transport costs. Temperature measurements, sensory evaluation, chemical and microbial measurements and life cycle analysis were used to compare different packaging solutions for sea and air transport. Fresh haddock pieces in vacuum-packed containers in a container with slush ice, which were stored at a typical temperature in container transport, turned out to have a shelf life of 3-4 days longer than the other experimental groups, probably mainly due to better temperature control. Consistency between the results of sensory evaluation and microbiological measurements was generally good. The lowest environmental impact of all groups was the pot group with sea-transported, vacuum-packed packaging, but this design could be further improved with regard to the mixing of the ice scraper and fish temperature control and thus the shelf life.

The aim of the project was to compare alternative packaging methods of fresh fish loins to the traditional packaging. Comparison was made between packages in terms of temperature control and product storage life by simulating air and sea transport from Iceland to UK in air climate chambers. The evaluation was made by the sensory panel and microbialand chemical analysis by the Matís laboratory in Reykjavík. Furthermore, the environmental impact of the aforementioned transport modes and packaging methods was assessed by means of LCA (Life Cycle Assessment). About 70–75% of Iceland's exports of fresh fillets and loins are transported by air and the rest by container ships. Increased knowledge on the advantages and disadvantages of the packages used for this fresh fish export will facilitate the selection of packages and improve the quality and storage life of the products. By using vacuum-packaging it is possible to use 12 kg packages in air freight instead of the traditional 3– 5 kg packages; but the market is increasingly demanding smaller individual packages. Sea transported larger packages use less space in shipping, lowering freight cost and environmental impact. Vacuum packed haddock loins immersed in slurry ice in a fish tub stored at sea transport temperature conditions proved to have a 3–4 day longer storage life than all the other experimental groups, probably mainly because of better temperature control. Good agreement was obtained between the sensory- and microbial evaluation. Finally, the sea transport-tub-group was found to be the most environmentally friendly and could be improved with regard to product temperature control and thereby storage life.

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Reports

Bacterial diversity in the processing environment of fish products

Published:

01/03/2010

Authors:

Eyjólfur Reynisson, Sveinn Haukur Magnússon, Árni Rafn Rúnarsson, Viggó Þór Marteinsson

Supported by:

Tækniþróunarsjóður, AVS

Contact

Viggó Marteinsson

Research Group Leader

viggo.th.marteinsson@matis.is

Bacterial diversity in the processing environment of fish products

The report seeks to address the diversity and species composition of micro-organisms in fish processing environments. The research work began with the installation and development of methods for scanning microbial composition using molecular biological methods, and then at a later stage, work began on examining selected environments from the fishing industry. Two fish processing plants were visited, each twice where an evaluation was made of the processing and approx. 20 samples taken in each trip. A diverse community of bacteria was found, where known harmful bacteria were usually in a high proportion along with various other species. Microbial counts showed high levels of bacteria on the surface of production lines during processing with few bacterial groups in excess but also numerous other species in smaller quantities. The main groups of bacteria found belong to Photobacterium phosphoreum, which was in the highest proportion overall throughout the study, along with Flavobacterium, Psychrobacter, Chryseobacter, Acinetobacter and Pseudoalteromonas. All of these species are known fish bacteria that live in the redness and intestines of live fish. This is the first known project where molecular biological methods are used to scan the bacterial ecosystem of fish processing plants. A knowledge base has therefore been laid here for bacterial ecosystems in different conditions in fish processing, which will be used permanently in research and development of improved processing processes and storage methods for fish.

In this report we seek answers on diversity and species composition of bacteria in fish processing environment. The study initiated method development to screen microbial systems using molecular methods followed by analysis of samples from 2 fish processing plants. This research shows the presence of a diverse microbial community in fish processing environment where known spoilage microorganisms are typically in high relative numbers along with various other bacterial species. Total viable counts showed the presence of bacteria in high numbers on processing surfaces during fish processing where few species typically dominated the community. Photobacterium phosphoreum was the most apparent species followed by genera such as Flavobacterium, Psychrobacter, Chryseobacter, Acinetobacter and Pseudoalteromonas. All these species are known fish associated bacteria that live on the skin and in the digestive tract of a living animal. To our knowledge, this is the first study where molecular methods are used to screen microbial communities in fish processing plants. This research has therefore contributed a database on bacterial diversity in fish processing plants that will be used in the future to improve processing and storage methods in the fish industry.

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Reports

Bioactive products in the production of halibut and cod larvae / Bioactive products in production of halibut and cod larvae

Published:

01/12/2008

Authors:

Jónína Þ. Jóhannsdóttir, Rannveig Björnsdóttir, Eydís Elva Þórarinsdóttir, Kristjana Hákonardóttir, Laufey Hrólfsdóttir

Supported by:

AVS, Matvælasetur HA

Bioactive products in the production of halibut and cod larvae / Bioactive products in production of halibut and cod larvae

The aim of the project was to find ways to improve the survival and quality of cod and halibut larvae and to use environmentally friendly methods. The aim was also to open up the possibility of utilizing saithe peptides that could increase the value of saithe. The results of a previous project in halibut farming were promising and indicated that it was most convenient to treat larvae with peptides through feed animals, in addition to which it was necessary to further investigate the concentration of treatment. In connection with the project, new facilities for animal husbandry have been developed and set up at Fiskey hf. for research into the different treatments of feed animals and thus contribute to increased stability in the production of halibut juveniles. Repeated experiments with bioactive substances in the cultivation of equidae have been carried out and they seemed to tolerate a certain concentration of the substances. The main results of experiments in the early stages of cod farming indicate that treatment with saithe peptides results in good growth, noticeably faster development of internal organs and a much lower incidence of larval defects. However, it is clear that the effects of different levels of treatment need to be further investigated. There is strong evidence that IgM and lysozyme are present in cod larvae soon after hatching or much earlier than previously claimed, and that treatment appeared to stimulate their production. Treatment with saithe peptides does not appear to affect the bacterial flora of larvae, but a specific species composition was detected in the gastrointestinal tract of larvae in pots where larval survival and quality were optimal. This gives evidence that a certain species composition of bacterial flora is favorable for cod larvae.

The main goal of this project was to increase viability and quality of cod and halibut larvae before and during the first feeding period by using bioactive products. The aim was also to increase the exploitation and value of pollock. The findings of previous projects in halibut culture were promising and indicated that treating live feed is a suitable method to carry bioactive products to the larval intestines during first feeding but the intensities of treatment needed to be further investigated. New facilities have been developed in relation to the project for research in the live feed culture at Fiskey Ltd. to promote increased stability in the production of halibut fingerlings. Repeated experiments have been conducted in the culture of rotifers and results indicate good tolerance towards treatment with bioactive products in certain intensities. The overall results of the project indicated that pollock peptides may promote increased growth and quality of cod larvae during first feeding. The results also indicate the presence of IgM and lysozyme early post hatching, but it has not been observed in cod larvae of this size before. Furthermore, results also indicate that hydrolysates from pollock can stimulate the production of these factors in cod larvae. Treatment using pollock peptides, did not affect the bacterial community structure of live feed or cod larvae, however a similar structure was observed in larvae from the most successful production units different from other tanks. The results therefore indicate a bacterial community structure that may be preferable to the cod larvae.

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Reports

Use of bioactive substances in halibut farming

Published:

01/12/2007

Authors:

Jónína Þ. Jóhannsdóttir, Heiðdís Smáradóttir, Jennifer Coe, Rut Hermannsdóttir (MS student), María Pétursdóttir, Rannveig Björnsdóttir

Supported by:

Líftækninet HA (2005-2007), KEA University Fund (2006)

Use of bioactive substances in halibut farming

The main goal of the project was to promote the increased performance of halibut in fire and use environmentally friendly methods. Bioactive substances were used that were easy to obtain, contributed to the increased value of seafood and also had some of the desired activity, ie. bactericidal / inhibitory, prebiotic or immunostimulatory activity. Experiments were made with various materials in the project, ie. chitosan derivatives as well as peptides derived from blue whiting, cod and saithe. The effect of treatment with the substances was assessed in terms of the growth and performance of larvae and forage animals as well as in terms of the composition of the bacterial flora and the stimulation of a non-specific immune response in larvae. The main results indicate that the most suitable method for introducing substances into larvae is to use feed animals (Artemia) and a method was developed in the project to treat them. The bioactive substances did not appear to have a bactericidal effect in the rearing environment of the feed animals, but did contribute to a change in the composition of the bacterial flora. Bioactive substances seemed to be used primarily as supplements as feed animals were plump and playful. The performance and quality of larvae in the breeding units of Fiskey hf. is very different and there is no obvious relationship between the performance of the peritoneal stage and the performance and quality of the larvae at the end of the initial feeding. The composition of bacterial flora was also found to be very different in peritoneal larvae and larval feeding larvae. Three separate experiments were carried out in the Fiskey juvenile farm where the larvae in the initial feeding were treated with bioactive substances. The main results showed that it is important to treat with the right concentration of substances and for a reasonably long time as too much concentration can have a negative effect on the growth and metamorphosis of larvae. Treatment with blue whiting peptides was thought to give promising results and have a beneficial effect on larval metastasis. Bioactive substances did not appear to have a decisive effect on the number of bacterial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract of larvae, but treatment with blue whiting and cod peptides could potentially alter the composition of the flora. Studies on the non-specific immune response of halibut larvae revealed the presence of C3 and Lysozyme from the end of the peritoneal stage, but IgM production does not begin until about 28 days after the start of feeding. Higher levels of IgM were detected during the first weeks in larvae treated with saithe peptides and this may indicate an immunostimulatory effect. The results of the project as a whole indicate that the bioactive substances studied did not have a decisive effect on the bacterial flora of the farm, but the treatment of larvae in starter feeding with the right concentration of bioactive substances could have a good effect on larval performance and stimulate larval immune response. of the farm when they have not yet developed a specialized immune response.

The aim of this project was to promote increased survival of halibut larvae during first feeding by using bioactive products. The bioactive products were selected by the criterion that they were easily accessible and induced any of the desired effects ie inhibiting bacterial growth, prebiotic effects or immunostimulants. The products studied are chitosan and peptide hydrolysates from blue whiting, cod and saithe. The effects of treatment were evaluated with respect to growth and survival of larvae and the live feed (Artemia) as well as effects on bacterial numbers or the community structure of the intestinal microbiota of larvae and stimulation of the innate immune system of the larvae. The results indicate that treating live feed (Artemia) is a suitable method to carry the bioactive products to the larval intestines during first feeding and a new technique has been standardized for treatment of the live feed with the products. The bioactive products did not affect the total bacterial count in the Artemia but the composition of the bacterial community may be changed as a result of the treatment. The Artemia seems to use the bioactive products as a food supplement and was well suited to be used as live feed. A significant variation in overall success of larvae was observed without any obvious correlation between survival of larvae at the end of the yolk sac stage and at the end of first feeding. A different bacterial pattern was observed in the intestine at the yolk sac stage compared to first feeding larvae. Three separate experiments were carried out in the halibut production units at Fiskey Ltd. where larvae were treated with various bioactive products. The results emphasize the importance of treating larvae with the appropriate concentrations of the products, as elevated concentrations can negatively affect growth and metamorphosis of the larvae. Treatment with peptides from blue whiting resulted in relatively good survival of larvae with similar success of metamorphosis compared to control units. The bioactive products did not affect bacterial growth but there were indications that peptides from blue whiting and cod may affect the composition of the intestinal community of bacteria in the larvae. Results from studies of the immunological parameters indicate the presence of C3 and Lysozyme already from the end of the yolk sac stage and the initialization of IgM production after approximately 28 days in feeding. Production of IgM was stimulated in larvae treated with peptides from saithe, indicating immunostimulating effects of this product. The overall results indicate that the bioactive products studied did not affect the bacterial flora during the first production stages of halibut larvae. However, if used in the appropriate quantities and at the right time, the products may promote survival and growth and stimulate the innate immunity of larvae.

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