Processing and quality control of farmed cod




Kristín Anna Þórarinsdóttir, Valur Norðri Gunnlaugsson, Guðrún Anna Finnbogadóttir, Kristján Jóakimsson, Sigurjón Arason

Supported by:

AVS R26-06 / AVS R&D Fund of Ministry of Fisheries in Iceland


Valur Norðri Gunnlaugsson

Research Group Leader

Processing and quality control of farmed cod

The report is a summary of the results of the project "" Processing and quality control of farmed cod "which was carried out in collaboration between HG and Matís. Ways were sought to develop traditional methods for the production of fresh, frozen and lightly salted products so that they could be used for farmed fish. The aim of the project was to provide products from farmed cod with valuable and varied products that met the quality requirements of the market. Processing of farmed cod must be carried out before death. Otherwise there is a risk that the formation will be so great that the products will in the worst case be unsaleable. Chilled and loose-frozen products are of comparable quality to products made from wild cod. However, the properties are not the same and this is reflected in the taste and texture properties, among other things. Wild cod is coarser and often juicier, but farmed cod has a more meaty and stuttering texture and is sweeter in taste. Processing for death solidification means that traditional salting processes for farmed fish cannot be used. In light salting, methods such as injection and prolongation of the pickling time can be used to reduce the negative effects of lethal stiffness on uptake during normal course of action. Salting and temperature conditions need to be very well controlled to minimize the risk of microbial growth as very low salinity is used in the production of lightly salted (2% salt) products.

This report summarizes the results from the project "Processing and quality control of farmed cod" where processing and salting methods for farmed cod were developed in co-operation of HG (HradfrystihusidGunnvor Ltd) and Matís ohf. The main difference in processing of farmed and wild cod is that farmed cod has to be processed before rigor mortis. Otherwise there is a high risk of gaping and quality defects in products that are not accepted by markets. Chilled and IQF products processed from pre-rigor farmed cod were of similar quality as products from wild cod. However, farmed cod products have different properties, they have a sweeter taste and more "meaty" and firmer texture than products from wild cod which are softer and juicier. Processing of farmed cod before rigor retards weight increase and salt uptake during light salting. The effects of rigor can be reduced using brine injection and increasing brining time from traditional processed for farmed cod. Salting conditions and temperature must be carefully controlled during the process to avoid microbial growth at the low salt levels used in production of light salted (2% NaCl) products.

View report