Quality evaluation of frozen fish sold at the Icelandic consumer market




Ólafur Reykdal, Páll Gunnar Pálsson, Gyða Ósk Bergsdóttir, Heiða Pálmadóttir

Supported by:

The Consumer Association, the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture


Ólafur Reykdal

Project Manager

Quality evaluation of frozen fish sold at the Icelandic consumer market

The quality of frozen and packaged fish in supermarkets in the capital area was examined. Information on the packaging of the fish products was recorded and then measurements were made of the weight of the fish and packaging, ice skin, water loss during thawing, water content, proteins, salt, phosphates and boiling efficiency. In the samples examined, the net weight of the fish did not reach the marked weight. Ice skin was only present in some samples. Ice skin was in accordance with the labeling for two samples but above the labeled value for one sample. The utilization of the fish during boiling was in the range 69-79%. When ice skins and water loss during thawing were taken into account, the utilization became 50‐79%. The amount of phosphate in the frozen fish was below the maximum value set in the regulation. In one sample, triphosphate was detected, which is an indication that phosphate was added to the fish during processing. Salt in seven samples ranged from 0.1‐0.4% and can be considered a natural salt in the fish flesh. In two samples the salt was in the range of 0.7-2.0% and there is every indication that these samples absorbed salt, for example when cooling in an ice scraper with salt. Labeling of shelf life and nutritional value for some products were not set up as required by regulations. 

Quality of frozen fish sold at supermarkets in Reykjavik was evaluated. Labeling information was recorded and the following parameters were measured: weight of fish, weight of packaging, weight of ice glaze, drip, water content, protein content, salt, phosphates and cooking yield. For the samples under investigation, net weight of fish was below weight stated on the label. Ice glaze was only found for some of the samples. Measured ice glaze was consistent with that stated on the label for two samples but was above the stated value for one sample. Cooking yield of the samples was 69‐79%. When the ice glaze and drip were taken into account the yield was 50‐79%. The concentrations of phosphates were below the maximum value set by regulation. Triphosphates were detected in one sample, indicating the use of phosphates during processing. Salt in seven samples was in the range 0,1‐0,4%, this can be regarded as original salt in the fish. In two samples salt was in the range 0,7‐2,0%, indicating the use of ice and salt during handling of the fish. Information on shelf life and nutrient value for some of the samples did not totally meet the requirements of regulations.

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