Reports

Styrene migration from expanded polystyrene boxes into fresh cod and redfish at chilled and superchilled temperatures

Published:

01/12/2017

Authors:

Erwan Queguiner, Björn Margeirsson, Sigurjón Arason

Supported by:

RPC Tempra

contact

Sigurjón Arason

Chief Engineer

sigurjon.arason@matis.is

Styrene migration from expanded polystyrene boxes into fresh cod and redfish at chilled and superchilled temperatures

The aim of the experiment was to investigate the possible flow of styrene from foam plastic boxes to fresh cod and redfish fillets, which are stored at typical temperatures during sea transport of fresh fillets from Iceland to Europe or America. US buyers want fish fillets to be packed in plastic bags before packing in a foam box due to possible styrene contamination from foam to fish. Therefore, in this project, styrene was measured in fish, which had been stored without plastic bags in foam boxes, and the amount of styrene was compared with the standards of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A total of 12 foam boxes containing cod or redfish fillets were stored for 4, 7 or 13 days at either -1 ° C or 2 ° C, which corresponds to the optimal and highest probable temperature in fresh fillet shipping. One 10-50 g sample was taken from the lower part of the bottom fish fillet in each box and had thus been in direct contact with foam plastic and therefore placed in a glass bottle. Subsequently, the 12 samples were sent for analysis to Eurofins, an international laboratory in Germany. The results show that the amount of styrene, as well as other undesirable substances such as benzene and toluene, was below 0.01 mg / kg fish in all twelve fish samples. The FDA guideline (maximum) is 90 mg of styrene per kg of fish per person per day, which is equivalent to The result of this experiment is that a consumer has to consume 9000 kg of fish daily to meet the FDA standard, which is a very unrealistic amount. The main conclusion of this experiment is that it is not necessary to pack fresh fish fillets in plastic bags for packing in foam boxes, which are stored and transported in refrigerated and supercooled conditions.

The aim of the study was to investigate possible styrene migration from expanded polystyrene into fresh cod and redfish, two important export fish species in Iceland, while stored under conditions mimicking transport by ship from Iceland to America and Europe. American buyers wish to have a plastic bag between EPS boxes and fish during transport as a safety measure due to possible styrene migration. Thus, this project was conducted to investigate if adding a plastic bag is necessary with regards to safety limits for styrene migration from packaging to food set by the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration). A total of twelve samples of cod and redfish were stored in EPS boxes manufactured by Tempra ltd. for 4, 7 and 13 days at two temperatures (-1 ° C, 2 ° C) which represent optimal and expected maximum storage temperatures during sea transport of fresh fish. A sample of 10-50 grams of fish, which had been in direct contact with the packaging, was taken from the bottom of each box, as it is considered the most hazardous place regarding styrene migration, and put in a glass bottle before analysis. Finally, the twelve samples of fish were sent to Eurofins, an international laboratory in Germany, for analysis. The results show that styrene content, and other solvent residues like benzene or toluene, were below 0.01 mg / kg in all twelve samples of fish. The FDA's daily intake limit of styrene is 90 mg / kg per person per day, which means that in this study an unrealistic intake of at least 9000 kg of fish would be necessary to exceed this FDA´s limit. The main conclusion from this study is therefore that a plastic bag is not needed to safely pack cod and redfish fillets into EPS boxes to be stored under chilled and superchilled temperatures.

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Reports

The effects of different packaging solutions on the shelf life of fresh cod loins - drainage holes, cooling media and plastic bags

Published:

22/03/2017

Authors:

Magnea G. Karlsdóttir, Björn Margeirsson, Sigurjón Arason

Supported by:

Tempra ehf, Útgerðarfélag Akureyringa ehf

contact

Sigurjón Arason

Chief Engineer

sigurjon.arason@matis.is

The effects of different packaging solutions on the shelf life of fresh cod loins - drainage holes, cooling media and plastic bags / The effect of different packaging solutions on the shelf life of fresh cod necks
Boys' clothes, refrigerants and plastic bags

The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of different foam plastic boxes (with and without boys), the amount of coolant and plastic bags compared to plastic film in boxes on the quality of fresh cod necks. The age of the raw material during processing was about two days. Five different experimental groups were prepared and stored at -1.7 ° C for five days and subsequently stored at 2 ° C for 9 days, or the remainder of the storage period. Sensory assessment (Torry freshness assessment) and drip / water loss during storage were assessed 1, 7, 9, 12 and 14 days after packing. The results indicated that a neck piece packed under plastic wrap in a foam box without a boy and with the smallest amount (250 g) of refrigerant in the box was damaged significantly faster compared to other experimental groups. The longest shelf life from packing (12 days) was measured for products that were packed in a foam plastic box without boys, but were in a plastic bag inside the box and with a larger amount (750 g) of refrigerant (ice) outside the plastic bag. The results underlined the importance of maintaining a low and constant temperature throughout the storage period.

The aim of the study was to explore the effects of different expanded polystyrene (EPS) boxes (with and without drainage holes), cooling media and plastic bags compared to plastic films inside the boxes on the shelf life of fresh cod loins. The fish was caught two days before processing. Five experimental groups were prepared and stored at around - 1.7 ° C for five days followed by subsequent storage at around 2 ° C for nine days. Sensory (Torry score) and drip loss evaluations were performed 1, 7, 9, 12 and 14 days post packaging. The results indicated that loins packed under a plastic film in EPS boxes (without drainage holes) and with the lowest amount (250 g) of cooling medium spoiled faster compared with the other experimental groups. The longest shelf life from packaging (12 days) was obtained for loins packed in EPS boxes inside a plastic bag and covered with a larger amount (750 g) of ice. Furthermore, the sensory results were in accordance with the temperature profiles of the experimental groups, stating the advantages of a low and stable storage temperature.

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Reports

Analysis of damage to fresh fish products / Comparison of transport and packaging methods for fresh fish products - storage life study

Published:

13/07/2016

Authors:

Magnea G. Karlsdóttir, Gunnar Þórðarson, Ásgeir Jónsson, Hrund Ólafsdóttir, Sigurjón Arason, Björn Margeirsson, Aðalheiður Ólafsdóttir

Supported by:

AVS Fisheries Research Fund (R 034‐14)

contact

Gunnar Þórðarson

Regional Manager

gunnar.thordarson@matis.is

Analysis of damage processes in fresh fish transport / Comparison of transport and packaging methods for fresh fish products - storage life study

The aim of the project "Best fresh fish transport" was to improve the handling of fresh fish products in container transport and thereby increase their shelf life and the possibility of further transport by sea from Iceland, but there are significant savings compared to transport by air. This report deals with the analysis of the damage processes that take place during the storage and transport of fresh fish products. A comparison was made of transport in foam plastic boxes and in ice scrapers in pots at different temperatures. Different embodiments of both packaging solutions were compared and assessment factors included temperature, total number of microorganisms, amount of damaged microorganisms, water resistance, amount of erratic base and sensory assessment properties. In general, there was relatively little difference between experimental groups during storage. Differences were found between groups in individual sensory evaluation factors, but this difference was not comparable between days and is therefore probably due to the interaction between heterogeneous raw material and too few evaluated samples. The freshness time of all groups was seven to eight days and the shelf life was about 10 days. The packaging solutions studied in the experiment, as well as the storage temperature, had little effect on the spoilage processes of the cod products. The variability was primarily due to the storage time.

The aim of the project “Optimization of fresh fish transport” was to improve the handling of fresh fish products during sea freight and increase the shelf life and the possibility of further maritime transport from Iceland, involving significant savings relative to the air freight. The present report covers analysis of the deterioration processes occurring during storage and transportation of fresh whitefish products. Comparison was done between transportation in expanded polystyrene boxes and in slurry ice in tubs at different ambient temperature. Different versions of both packaging solutions were compared with regard to temperature, total viable count, amount of spoilage bacteria, water holding capacity, total volatile nitrogen bases (TVB ‐ N) and sensory properties. There were in general relatively small differences between experimental groups during the storage period. Some difference was observed between groups with regard to few sensory attributes, but the difference was not comparable between days which was likely due to heterogeneous material and too small sampling size. The freshness period of all experimental groups was seven to eight days and the shelf life around 10 days. The packaging solutions explored in the present study, as well as storage temperature, had generally little effect on the deterioration processes occurring in the fresh cod product. The observed variation was primarily attributed to the storage time.

Report closed until 01.08.2018

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Reports

Comparison of packing of fresh fish products in boxes and pots for export by ship / Packing of fresh fish products in boxes and tubs intended for sea transport

Published:

01/07/2016

Authors:

Magnea G. Karlsdóttir, Ásgeir Jónsson, Gunnar Þórðarson, Björn Margeirsson, Sigurjón Arason, Aðalheiður Ólafsdóttir, Þorsteinn Ingi Víglundsson

Supported by:

AVS Fisheries Research Fund (R 034‐14)

contact

Gunnar Þórðarson

Regional Manager

gunnar.thordarson@matis.is

Comparison of packing of fresh fish products in boxes and pots for export by ship / Packing of fresh fish products in boxes and tubs intended for sea transport

The aim of the study was to find the best and most cost-effective method of packing fresh fish products for shipping with a view to maximizing the shelf life of a product, which is one of the key factors in the marketing of fresh fish products. Experiments were carried out with the transport of fresh fish products in containers with ice scrapers and compared with the transport in foam plastic boxes with regard to temperature control, product quality and transport costs. Different product groups were compared that were packed in different packaging and stored at different storage temperatures. The purpose of these experiments was to simulate the environmental conditions during the transport of fresh fish products, with a view to evaluating the effect of pre-cooling before packaging and packaging methods on the shelf life of the products. The results clearly indicate that refrigeration of products before packaging as well as low and stable storage temperatures are among the most important factors that increase the shelf life of fresh fish products. Different packaging solutions also affected the shelf life of fresh fish products, although the effect was not as decisive as the effect of temperature. The results indicate an increased likelihood of longer shelf life if fresh fish products are packed in tanks with sub-chilled sludge compared to traditional packaging in a foam plastic box with ice. To estimate the amount of ice scraper required to maintain an acceptable temperature, a heat transfer model was developed. An economic analysis of different packaging and transport was carried out in the project and this work shows significant savings with the use of tanks for transporting fresh fish products in comparison with foam plastic boxes. Pots can replace a foam plastic box to a considerable extent and be a cost-effective option for some companies. The economic analysis showed that larger parties could take advantage of this method, as they can fill entire containers for export. But the method is no less useful for smaller processes, which do not have the capacity to make large investments in equipment to ensure adequate cooling for the packaging of products for export of fresh raw materials. The results are a good contribution to discussions about fresh fish products in foreign markets.

The goal of the study was to find the best and most efficient method of packaging fresh fish for sea transport with the aim of maximizing the storage life of the product, which is a key element in the marketing of fresh fish. Experiments were made with the transport of fresh fish in tubs with slurry ice and compared with transport in expanded polystyrene boxes with regard to temperature control, product quality and shipping cost. Different product groups were compared, using different temperature conditions and packing methods to find the best outcome for fresh fish quality and storage life. Experimental results clearly indicate that the pre ‐ cooling for packaging and low and stable storage temperature play a major factor to maximize storage life of fresh fish products. Different packaging solutions are also a factor, though the effect was not as dramatic as the effects of temperature. The results indicate an increased likelihood of extended shelf life if fresh fish is packed in a tub with a slurry ice compared to traditional packaging in expanded polystyrene boxes with ice. In order to estimate the necessary amount of slurry ice to maintain acceptable temperature, a thermal model was developed. Economic analysis of different packaging and transport was also carried out and the results showed substantial savings with the use of tubs for the transport of fresh fish products in comparison with the styrofoam boxes.

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Reports

Instructions for the cooling ability of slurry ice intended for chilling of fish products in fish containers

Published:

01/06/2016

Authors:

Björn Margeirsson, Sigurjón Arason, Þorsteinn Ingi Víglundsson, Magnea G. Karlsdóttir

Supported by:

AVS Fisheries Research Fund (R 034‐14)

contact

Sigurjón Arason

Chief Engineer

sigurjon.arason@matis.is

Instructions for the cooling ability of slurry ice intended for chilling of fish products in fish containers

Objectives of the project Optimization of fresh fish transport is to improve the handling of fresh fish products in container transport and thereby increase their shelf life and the possibility of further transport by sea from Iceland. In work step 1, the aim is to estimate the appropriate amount and type of ice scraper to maintain the fish temperature at -1 ° C during transport in tanks. Heat transfer models are made from 340 PE and 460 PE food pots from Sæplast to estimate the required amount of ice scraper to maintain -1 ° C inside the pots, which is the optimal temperature for storing fresh whitefish products. Pre-cooling of fish products before packing in pots has a decisive effect on the amount of products that can be placed in pots if it is required to maintain the fish temperature -1 ° C. This is explained by the fact that with increasing fish temperature during packing, an increased amount of ice scraper is needed to lower the fish temperature to -1 ° C, thereby reducing the space for the fish inside the tank. The volume utilization of the pot, i.e. quantity of fish products in a tank, it is of course necessary to maximize in order to minimize transport costs and make sea transport of fish products packed in ice scrapers in a tank a viable alternative to sea transport in foam boxes. These guidelines should be used to estimate the amount of fish products that can be packed in 340 PE and 460 PE Sæplast tanks. The aim is to pack the fish in an ice scraper with a temperature of -1 ° C, an ice ratio of 35% and a salinity ratio of 1.2% and the amount of ice scraper is sufficient to maintain -1 ° C in an ice scraper and fish for four days at ambient temperatures between -1 ° C and 5 ° C. It should be noted that the instructions only take into account the need for refrigeration and not a possible, undesirable color that can be created on the bottom fish layers in a tank and can potentially cause loss of utilization and quality.

The aim of the project Optimization of fresh fish transport is to improve handling of sea transported fresh fish products, thereby improving their quality and increasing the possibility of sea transport from Iceland. The aim of work package no. 1 is to estimate the suitable quantity and type of slurry ice in order to maintain the optimal fish temperature of –1 ° C during transport in fish containers (tubs). Heat transfer models of 340 PE and 460 PE fish containers manufactured by Saeplast are developed for this purpose. Precooling of fresh fish products before packing in slurry ice in containers has a dominating effect on the maximum fish quantity, which can be packed in each container assuming a maintained fish temperature of –1 ° C. This is because an increased fish packing temperature increases the required amount of slurry ice in order to lower the fish temperature down to –1 ° C, thereby decreasing the volume for fish within the container. The fish quantity within the container must certainly be maximized in order to minimize the transport cost and make sea transport of fresh fish products in slurry ice in containers a viable option. These guidelines should be useful to estimate the fish quantity, which can be packed in 340 PE and 460 PE Saeplast containers. The temperature, ice ratio and salinity of the slurry ice assumed are –1 ° C, 35% and 1.2%, respectively. Furthermore, it is assumed that the amount of slurry ice applied is sufficient to maintain the slurry ice and fish at –1 ° C for four days at ambient temperature between –1 ° C and 5 ° C.

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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

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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