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.