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 packaging methods for bulk storage of fresh cod loins / Comparison of packaging solutions in foam packaging for storage of cod products

Published:

01/08/2013

Authors:

Hélène L. Lauzon, Aðalheiður Ólafsdóttir, Eyjólfur Reynisson, Björn Margeirsson

Supported by:

Promens Tempra ehf, Umbúðir og ráðgjöf ehf

contact

Aðalheiður Ólafsdóttir

Sensory evaluation manager

adalheiduro@matis.is

Comparison of packaging methods for bulk storage of fresh cod loins / Comparison of packaging solutions in foam packaging for storage of cod products

The main objective of the experiment was to compare packaging solutions for fish in terms of quality deterioration and product temperature during storage, which is similar to the conditions for export and distribution. The objectives were to compare cold storage of products packed (1) in 5-kg units in (H1) ship or (H2) air boxes; (2) in 3 ‐ kg units in (H3) airbags compared to H2; (3) with CO2 mats (H4) to reduce microbial growth in 5 kg units stored under 93% vacuum in EPS boxes. The results show that the lifespan of H1 was shorter, but there were smaller quality changes among the other groups. However, the freshness was longest and the lifespan of H4, which compares with slower TVB-N and TMA formation and microbial growth due to CO2 formation as well as lower product temperature. The fastest microbial growth was measured in H3 after 8 days of storage. There was no significant difference between the groups in terms of TVB-N and TMA values, which were highest in H1 and H3. Drip was at least half as high in H4 as in other groups.

The overall aim of the storage study was to compare the quality deterioration and temperature profile of cod loins differently packaged in expanded polystyrene boxes and stored under conditions mimicking distribution. The purpose of the study was threefold; to compare chilled storage (1) or 5 ‐ kg bulk fish packaged in sea freight (H1) or air freight (H2) boxes; (2) of 3 ‐ kg (H3) or 5 ‐ kg (H2) bulk fish packaged in air freight boxes; (3) with the use of CO2 ‐ emitting pads (H4) as a mean to slow down bacterial deterioration of cod loins (5 kg) packaged under partial vacuum and stored in EPS boxes. The results clearly indicated that group H1 had a shorter shelf life as it developed spoilage characteristics faster than the other three groups. Less difference was seen between the remaining three groups but group H4 retained its freshness slightly longer than groups H2 and H3. This can be explained by the CO2 present and the lower mean product temperature. More advanced microbial spoilage was detected in H3 group compared to H2, as shown by higher microbial counts in H3 being though insignificant. No significant differences were observed after 8 ‐ day storage in TVB ‐ N and TMA content of the four groups, despite the higher levels measured in H1 and H3. Drip loss was at least two times higher in H4 than the other groups.

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Reports

Thermal modeling of processing and transport of fresh fish / Hermun kæliferla - LOKASKÝRSLA

Published:

01/09/2011

Authors:

Björn Margeirsson, Sigurjón Arason, Kristín Valtýsdóttir

Supported by:

AVS Fisheries Research Fund, Technology Development Fund, University of Iceland Research Fund

contact

Sigurjón Arason

Chief Engineer

sigurjon.arason@matis.is

Thermal modeling of processing and transport of fresh fish / Hermun kæliferla - LOKASKÝRSLA

The main objective of the project Simulation of cooling processes - thermodynamic simulation of production and transport processes, which began in June 2008, was to present improvements in procedures and equipment related to the transport of marine products through process analysis, experiments and computerized thermal and hydrological models. The consequences of improved temperature control in production and transport processes are increased quality, stability and safety, which at the same time increase the value of the product. Partners in the project were Matís, the University of Iceland, Promens Tempra, Eimskip Ísland, Samherji, Brim (ÚA), Festi, Völusteinn and Eskja. This report describes the main results and products of the project. Examples of products are heat transfer models of fresh fish products in a foam box, which make it possible to predict fish temperatures based on environmental temperature history. Heat transfer models were used to redesign the Promens Tempra 3, 5 and 7 kg foam boxes with the minimum target fish temperature minimization under the target heat load. Experiments confirmed the superiority of the new boxes over traditional box types, both in terms of temperature control and product quality under heat load. The results of another experiment show that the shelf life of fresh fish fillets in corner boxes of whole pallets in the air transport chain can be about 1-1.5 days shorter than fillets in boxes in the middle of the pallet stack. Heat distribution in different cooling chains was mapped and special emphasis was placed on pre-cooling fillets for packing and heat distribution in different types of cooling containers with different loading patterns. 

The main aim of the research project Hermun kæliferla - Thermal modeling of processing and transport of fresh fish, which was launched in June 2008, was to improve technology and practices used for fish processing and transport by means of analysis of chill chains, experiments and computational modeling. Improved temperature control in fish chill chains leads to increased product quality, stability and safety and thereby increased product value. This report describes the main results and products of the project. Examples include heat transfer models of fresh fish fillets packaged in boxes, which can be used to predict product temperature evolution as a function of variable ambient temperature. Numerical heat transfer models were used to optimize the design of 3, 5 and 7 ‐ kg expanded polystyrene boxes manufactured by Promens Tempra with the aim of minimizing the maximum fish temperature in boxes under thermal load. Improved thermal protection of the new box design was confirmed in different experiments, both with regard to lesser product temperature variations and extended freshness period and storage life of products. The results from another storage study suggest that the storage life of fresh fish products in a corner box can be more than 1‐1.5 days shorter than in the center boxes of a full size pallet stack in a real air transport chain, depending on the level of ambient thermal load. Environmental and product temperatures were mapped in different chill chains with special emphasis laid on precooling during processing and temperature distribution in reefer containers of different types and loading patterns. 

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Reports

Optimized Chilling Protocols for Fresh Fish

Published:

01/12/2010

Authors:

Björn Margeirsson, Hélène L. Lauzon, Lárus Þorvaldsson, Sveinn Víkingur Árnason, Sigurjón Arason, Kristín Líf Valtýsdóttir, Emilía Martinsdóttir

Supported by:

AVS R&D Fund of Ministry of Fisheries in Iceland, the Technology Development Fund at the Icelandic Center for Research, University of Iceland Research Fund and EU (contract FP6-016333-2)

contact

Sigurjón Arason

Chief Engineer

sigurjon.arason@matis.is

Optimized Chilling Protocols for Fresh Fish

Guidelines for cooling fresh fish describe the most effective cooling methods at all stages of the cooling chain, with an emphasis on white fish. It describes how to best cool and maintain temperatures in order to maximize product quality and safety and reduce costs and energy consumption. The report contains background information for instructions in the information source Kæligátt on Matís' website, which is presented in a user-friendly way in Icelandic www.kaeligatt.is and English www.chillfish.net. The guidelines are intended for fishermen, manufacturers, carriers and other members of the value chain. The guidelines are based on research that has been carried out within research projects such as Chill ‐ on, Simulation of cooling processes and Cooling improvement. The main chapters deal with refrigeration on board, during processing, during packing, transport and storage of fish.

The overall aim of the optimized chilling protocols is to describe the most effective chilling methods for any stage in the food supply chain with emphasis on whitefish. This comprises optimization of the whole chain for lowering and maintaining low temperature with the aim of maximizing quality and safety of the products and minimizing costs and energy use. This report is the background for the protocols and guidelines published with open access at Matís website in Icelandic and English in a user ‐ friendly way: www.chillfish.net. These are protocols to follow aimed at the use of fishermen, manufacturers, transporters and other stakeholders in the fisheries chain. The information is divided into subchapters of different links in the chain. How to chill fish on ‐ board, during processing, packaging, transport and storage are the main chapters.

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Reports

Guidelines for precooling of fresh fish during processing and choice of packaging with respect to temperature control in cold chains

Published:

01/12/2010

Authors:

Kristín Líf Valtýsdóttir, Björn Margeirsson, Sigurjón Arason, Hélène L. Lauzon, Emilía Martinsdóttir

Supported by:

AVS Fund of Ministry of Fisheries in Iceland (R-037 08), Technology Development Fund at the Icelandic Center for Research (081304508), University of Iceland Research Fund and EU (contract FP6-016333-2)

contact

Sigurjón Arason

Chief Engineer

sigurjon.arason@matis.is

Guidelines for precooling of fresh fish during processing and choice of packaging with respect to temperature control in cold chains

The purpose of the guidelines is to assist in the choice between different methods of pre-cooling fresh fish products as well as to assist in the selection of packages with regard to the heat load that the product experiences on its way from producer to buyer. The following pre-cooling methods are discussed: liquid cooling, sludge cooling and skin cooling (CBC, touch and blow cooling). The treatment of products during processing and the effect of different refrigerants on temperature control, quality and shelf life of fillets before packaging the product are also discussed. The guidelines take into account the processing of lean whitefish, such as cod and haddock. The results of research show that a well-designed pre-cooling before packing can result in a shelf life of 3 - 5 days longer due to no pre-cooling before packing. Inadequate fluid exchange during hydraulic cooling with associated cross-contamination can, however, negate the positive effect of pre-cooling. Icelandic fresh fish producers mainly use expanded polystyrene (EPS) and corrugated plastic (CP) boxes for the export of fresh fillets and fillet pieces. Therefore, only the aforementioned packaging types are discussed here. The conclusion is that if the temperature control is inadequate and the temperature fluctuations are high, it is desirable to use foam plastic boxes that provide better thermal insulation than corrugated plastic boxes.

The aim of the guidelines is to provide and assist with choice of different precooling techniques for fresh fish fillets as well as assist with choice of packaging with respect to thermal abuse, which the product experiences during transport and storage from processor to customer. The following precooling techniques are discussed; liquid cooling (LC), slurry ice cooling (SIC) and combined blast and contact cooling (CBCC). In addition, the following is discussed; handling during processing and the effect of applying different cooling media before packaging on temperature control, quality and shelf life of fresh fillets. The guidelines are designed with lean white fish muscle in mind, such as cod and haddock. The results reveal that efficient precooling before packaging can prolong shelf life up to 3 to 5 days compared to no precooling before packaging. If the liquid exchange in the liquid cooler's circulation system is insufficient, cross-contamination can diminish the positive effects of precooling. Icelandic fresh fish processors mainly use expanded polystyrene (EPS) and corrugated plastic (CP) boxes for export of fresh fish fillets. The guidelines are therefore only focused on the above-mentioned packaging types. The conclusion is that if temperature control is unsatisfactory and temperature fluctuations are great, then expanded polystyrene boxes are the preferred alternative because they provide better insulation.

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Reports

Overview on fish quality research - Impact of fish handling, processing, storage and logistics on fish quality deterioration

Published:

01/11/2010

Authors:

Hélène L. Lauzon, Björn Margeirsson, Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir, María Guðjónsdóttir, Magnea G. Karlsdóttir, Emilia Martinsdóttir

Supported by:

AVS R&D Fund of Ministry of Fisheries in Iceland, Technology Development Fund and EU IP Chill-on (contract FP6-016333-2)

contact

Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir

Project Manager

kolbrun.sveinsdottir@matis.is

Overview on fish quality research - Impact of fish handling, processing, storage and logistics on fish quality deterioration

The short shelf life of fish is a limiting factor in the export of fresh fish products from Iceland. The initial quality of raw materials, methods of cooling, processing, packaging and conditions during storage and transport are discussed, as well as the effects of all these factors on the freshness and shelf life of fish products. Temperature control is very important to maintain the quality of the fish. Pre-processed fillets have been used to lower the pre-packing temperature. However, care must be taken that the pre-cooling technology does not endanger the microbial condition of the product and thus causes it to be damaged earlier after packaging. The synergistic effects of supercooling and aerated packaging (MAP) can significantly extend the freshness period and shelf life of fish products. Furthermore, packaging methods are examined, including new, more environmentally friendly packaging. Finally, the effect of transport routes of fresh fish products on their final quality to consumers in the market is discussed. This report provides an overview of the research of the Fisheries Research Institute and Matís ohf over the past three decades on the subject. Furthermore, it is discussed how these results can benefit the fishing industry.

The limited shelf life of fresh fish products is a large hurdle for the export of fresh products from Iceland. The influence of raw material quality, cooling methods, processing, packaging and storage conditions on freshness and shelf life extension is discussed. Temperature control is important to maintain fish quality. Pre-cooling of fillets in process has been used to lower the temperature prior to packaging. However, the cooling technique applied should not compromise the microbiological quality of the product and render it vulnerable to faster spoilage postpackaging. Synergism of combined superchilling and modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) can lead to a considerable extension of the freshness period and shelf life of fish products. Further, alternative and environmentally-friendly packaging methods are considered. Finally, the impact of transportation mode of fresh fish products on their resulting quality is examined. This report provides an overview of the findings on fish research carried out at Matís (Icelandic Fisheries Laboratories) over the last three decades and further discusses their practicality for the fish processing industry.

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