Reports

Improved reefer container for fresh fish - Final report

Published:

01/01/2013

Authors:

Sæmundur Elíasson, Björn Margeirsson, Sigurjón Arason

Supported by:

AVS Fisheries Research Fund, AVS‐Ref.No .: R11 093‐11

contact

Sæmundur Elíasson

Project Manager

saemundur.eliasson@matis.is

Improved reefer container for fresh fish - Final report

The main goal of the project Improved refrigerated container for fresh fish was to improve refrigerated containers and procedures for transporting fresh seafood through redesign and testing. The aim is for design improvements to deliver refrigerated containers that reach a more even temperature throughout the transport process. Efforts should be made to achieve satisfactory improvements to refrigerated containers that are used today with simple and inexpensive measures. 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, Eimskip Ísland and Samherji. This report describes the main results and products of the project. The results of the project showed that improvements are needed in maritime transport chains and it was shown that improvements can be achieved with simple and low-cost measures. Temperature control for sea transport can be improved by choosing the target temperature and cooling containers that are best suited for transporting fresh fish products. Mapping the heat distribution of refrigerated containers showed variability both in the transport process and in terms of location within the container, but design improvements aimed at forcing airflow within the container resulted in a more even heat distribution. The importance of procedures for loading refrigerated containers and their handling from manufacturer to buyer was also demonstrated.

The purpose of the project Improved reefer container for fresh fish is to use simple redesign and experimental testing to improve temperature control in reefer containers and work procedures of fresh fish products during transport. The design improvements are aimed at producing a reefer with more stable temperature through sea freight and transport. The aim is to get satisfactory improvements with simple and cost effective procedures. Improved temperature control in fish chill chains leads to increased product quality, stability and safety and thereby increased product value. The project was done in collaboration with Matís, University of Iceland, Eimskip Ísland and Samherji. This report describes the main results and products of the project. The results of the project showed that there is room for improvement in sea transport cold chains and with design improvements experiments it was demonstrated that they can be improved with simple and cost effective procedures. The results showed that the temperature control during sea freight may also be improved by selecting the reefer types most suitable for fresh fish transport and selecting different set point temperatures during summer and winter. The mappings of temperature distribution inside the reefers showed spatiotemporal variability and design improvements achieved a more uniform distribution by means of forced air circulation. Field tests demonstrated the importance of correct operating procedures during loading of reefers and their handling from processor to end location.

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Reports

Functionality testing of selected Chill ‐ on technologies during a transport ‐ simulation study of palletized cod boxes: qPCR for fish spoilage bacteria, SLP model and QMRA to evaluate pathogen growth in spiked cod

Published:

01/11/2010

Authors:

Hélène L. Lauzon, Björn Margeirsson, Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir, Eyjólfur Reynisson, María Guðjónsdóttir, Emilia Martinsdóttir (Matís); Radovan Gospavic, Nasimul Haque, Viktor Popov (WIT); Guðrún Ólafsdóttir, Tómas Hafliðason, Einir Guðlaugsson, Sigurður Bogason (UoI)

Supported by:

EU IP Chill ‐ on (contract FP6‐016333‐2)

contact

Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir

Project Manager

kolbrun.sveinsdottir@matis.is

Functionality testing of selected Chill ‐ on technologies during a transport ‐ simulation study of palletized cod boxes: qPCR for fish spoilage bacteria, SLP model and QMRA to evaluate pathogen growth in spiked cod

In this study, tests were carried out on technical solutions developed in the EU project Chill ‐ on, where a simulation experiment was set up to simulate the actual transport of fish from Iceland to Europe. The temperature fluctuations experienced by the fish were aimed at mimicking transport from Iceland to France by ship. Pallets of cod fillets in foam plastic boxes were transported to the Westman Islands by ship and back to Matís in Reykjavík. Samples from these pallets were then compared with control samples that had been stored in Matís' refrigerated conditions. Cod nuggets were also packed in consumer packs (trays) immediately after processing and then after 6 days and were stored in subcooled or refrigerated conditions. Microbial growth experiments were also performed in which Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli and Salmonella Dublin were added to cod necks stored in foam boxes in conditions similar to the storage and transport processes during export. Temperature measurements, sensory evaluation, microbial and chemical measurements were used to present data to test and verify the QMRA / SLP models and quantification of Pseudomonas bacteria using qPCR technology.

The aim of the cod wet trials and the corresponding shelf life study was to include scenarios to test and demonstrate the functionality of some Chill ‐ on technologies in a simulated cod supply chain. Temperature fluctuations were induced according to the actual scenario in the supply chain of cod from Iceland to France via sea freight. The study included sample groups created at the point of processing after packaging in EPS boxes. The reference group was stored at Matís under superchilled conditions. Simulation trials for downward distribution were performed at Matís upon receipt of the pallets shipped to the Westman Isles from Reykjavik (Iceland ‐ Europe freight simulation) and compared with the reference group. Repackaging of loins in retail trays was performed on days 0 and 6 with storage under superchilled and chilled conditions, respectively. In addition, a pathogen challenge trial was performed by spiking loins (5 kg) with Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli and Salmonella Dublin, followed by storage in EPS boxes under temperature conditions simulating export and distribution. Temperature recordings along with microbial, chemical and sensory analyzes from the groups evaluated provided necessary data to test and validate the QMRA / SLP models and the quantitative molecular (qPCR) method to estimate counts of pseudomonads.

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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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