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Comparison of transport modes and packaging methods for fresh fish products – storage life study and life cycle assessment

Author(s):

Björn Margeirsson, Birgir Örn Smárason, Gunnar Þórðarson, Aðalheiður Ólafsdóttir, Eyjólfur Reynisson, Óðinn Gestsson, Emilía Martinsdóttir, Sigurjón Arason

Funded by:

AtVest (Atvinnuþróunarfélag Vestfjarða)

Contact

Birgir Örn Smárason

Project Manager

birgir@matis.is

Comparison of transport modes and packaging methods for fresh fish products – storage life study and life cycle assessment

Mikill ávinningur er í bættri stjórn á virðiskeðju útflutnings á ferskum fiskhnökkum til dreifingar í verslanakeðjum í Bretlandi. Með bættum aðferðum við pökkun væri hægt að auka geymsluþol vöru, sem er grundvallaratriði í þessum viðskiptum. Með loftæmdum umbúðum væri hægt að flytja vöru í krapakeri með lágu hitastigi (niður í -1 °C) sem bæði myndi lækka flutningskostnað verulega og gæti jafnframt lengt geymsluþol vörunnar. Einnig gefur aðferðin möguleika á pökkun með neytendaupplýsingum sem gerir frekari pökkun erlendis óþarfa. Í flutningi með flugi væri hægt að pakka allri vöru í 12 kg frauðplastkassa í stað 3 kg, eins og algengast er í dag, og spara þannig verulegan flutningskostnað. Notast var við hitamælingar, skynmat, efna- og örverumælingar og lífsferilsgreiningu til að bera saman mismunandi pakkningalausnir fyrir sjó- og fluflutning. Ferskir ýsubitar í lofttæmdum umbúðum í keri með krapaís, sem geymt var við dæmigerðan hita í gámaflutningi, reyndist hafa 3–4 dögum lengra geymsluþol en hinir tilraunahóparnir, væntanlega aðallega vegna betri hitastýringar. Samræmi milli niðurstaðna skynmats og örverumælinga var almennt gott. Lægstu umhverfisáhrif allra hópa voru kerahópsins með sjófluttar, lofttæmdar umbúðir en þá útfærslu mætti enn frekar bæta með tilliti til blöndunar ískrapans og fiskhitastýringar og þar með geymsluþols.

The aim of the project was to compare alternative packaging methods of fresh fish loins to the traditional packaging. Comparison was made between packages in terms of temperature control and product storage life by simulating air and sea transport from Iceland to UK in air climate chambers. The evaluation was made by the sensory panel and microbialand chemical analysis by the Matís laboratory in Reykjavík. Furthermore, the environmental impact of the aforementioned transport modes and packaging methods was assessed by means of LCA (Life Cycle Assessment). About 70–75% of Iceland’s exports of fresh fillets and loins are transported by air and the rest by container ships. Increased knowledge on the advantages and disadvantages of the packages used for this fresh fish export will facilitate the selection of packages and improve the quality and storage life of the products. By using vacuum-packaging it is possible to use 12 kg packages in air freight instead of the traditional 3– 5 kg packages; but the market is increasingly demanding smaller individual packages. Sea transported larger packages use less space in shipping, lowering freight cost and environmental impact. Vacuum packed haddock loins immersed in slurry ice in a fish tub stored at sea transport temperature conditions proved to have a 3–4 day longer storage life than all the other experimental groups, probably mainly because of better temperature control. Good agreement was obtained between the sensory- and microbial evaluation. Finally, the sea transport-tub-group was found to be the most environmental friendly and could be improved with regard to product temperature control and thereby storage life.

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