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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