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Improved quality and value of Nordic mackerel products for the Global market

Izumi Sone from NOFIMA (left) and Paulina E. Wasik from MATIS (right) evaluating mackerel fillets / chilled mackerel
  • Published 23/04/2015
Improving processing of mackerel to form the basis for further innovation and give the Nordic region a competitive advantage globally.
Project

Improved quality and value of Nordic mackerel products for the Global market

Time

From 01/04/2015
To 01/04/2018

 

Currently the degree of processing of Nordic mackerel is low before export. The fish is block-frozen, either whole or as headless and gutted.

 

Further processing of fresh mackerel into fillets may well be economically viable but the industry lacks knowledge and information on which raw material is best suited for filleting in respect to season, catching and handling.

 

This lack of information hinders the Nordic industry in developing the sector further and in attaining a competitive advantage globally in further processed goods.

 

 

Catching methods and handling

 

Four mackerel production companies from Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Norway, collaborate with research institutes and universities in Denmark, Sweden, Iceland and Norway in order to improve the utilisation and quality of mackerel products.

 

During the first year, a number of experimental production procedures have been established in order to be able to compare samples from different seasons and from different catching methods and handling procedures. Four batches of fillets have already been produced in Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Norway throughout the mackerel season from August to November. These samples, together with seven samples of mackerel from the whole season, are currently being kept in frozen storage and monitored for quality changes in order to estimate the shelf life of both fillets and whole fish.

 

In 2016, the production trials will be completed and while continuing the shelf life studies, trials will also be included to study the effects of packaging. In the second half of the fourth year, the focus will shift towards ready products and market aspects.

 

 

A basis for further innovation

 

Towards the end of the project, the results will be compiled with catch and handling data, as well as raw material characteristics in order to unravel the main impact factors for mackerel quality and shelf life.

 

This will form the basis for further innovation within the Nordic mackerel processing sector leading to new products, improved quality of current products and overall higher value in exported goods and thus giving the Nordic pelagic processing sector a competitive advantage globally.

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Project Owner 
Pelagica AS
 
Project leader  
Gudmundur Stefansson, Matis
 
E-mail
gst@matis.is

Contacts