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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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Effect of superchilled processing of whole whitefish – pre‐rigor / Áhrif ofurkælingar á skemmdarferla og geymsluþol heils fisks og flaka

Author(s):

Aðalheiður Ólafsdóttir, Björn Margeirsson, Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir, Sigurjón Arason, Eyjólfur Reynisson, Emilía Martinsdóttir

Funded by:

AVS Fund of Ministry of Fisheries in Iceland (R 062‐11)

Contact

Aðalheiður Ólafsdóttir

Sensory Evaluation Manager

adalheiduro@matis.is

Effect of superchilled processing of whole whitefish – pre‐rigor / Áhrif ofurkælingar á skemmdarferla og geymsluþol heils fisks og flaka

Markmið tilraunarinnar var að rannsaka áhrif ofurkælingar á skemmdarferla og geymsluþol heils fisks og flaka. Rannsókn var gerð á heilum þorski ofurkældum fljótlega eftir veiði og einnig á áhrifum ofurkælingar á flök unnum úr ofurkældum þorski og þorski kældum í ís á hefðbundinn hátt. Notaðar voru hitamælingar, skynmat, efna‐  og örverumælingar til að bera eftirfarandi tilraunahópa saman, en þeir voru geymdir við –1.4 til –1.2 °C meðalhita:

1) NC: heill þorskur kældur í ís

2) SC: ofurkældur heill þorskur

3) NC‐NC: hefðbundin flakavinnsla úr heilum þorski kældum í ís

4) NC‐SC: ofurkæld flök unnin úr heilum þorski kældum í ís

5) SC‐NC: hefðbundin flakavinnsla úr ofurkældum heilum þorski

6) SC‐SC: ofurkæld flök unnin úr ofurkældum heilum þorski

Niðurstöður skynmats benda til þess að ofurkæld vinnsla á heilum þorski geti lengt geymsluþol hans um tvo daga. Ofurkæling á heilum þorski hafði ekki áhrif á sýrustig, vatnsinnihald, vatnsheldni og örveruvöxt í heilum fisk samanborið við fisk sem ekki var ofurkældur í vinnslu. Samkvæmt skynmati var lítinn mun að finna á geymsluþoli mismunandi flakahópa. Geymsluþol var metið 16–18 dagar, sem er nokkuð langur tími fyrir þorskflök. Ferskleikatímabil tilraunahópsins SC‐ SC virtist þó vera heldur lengra en hinna hópanna. Líkt og fyrir heila þorskinn reyndist lítill munur milli flakahópanna m.t.t. örveruvaxtar, efna‐ og eðliseiginleika. Takmarkaðan mun milli tilraunahópa má mögulega skýra með stöðugum og ofurkældum geymsluaðstæðum. Með hliðsjón af því er ráðgert að framkvæma aðra sambærilega tilraun þar sem hermt verður eftir dæmigerðari umhverfishitaferlum í flutningi ferskfiskafurða (0–4 °C) en í þessari tilraun (–1.4 til –1.2 °C).

The main aim of the study was to study the effects of superchilled processing on storage life of both whole fish and fillets. The following experimental groups were evaluated by means of temperature monitoring, chemical‐ and microbial measurements and sensory evaluation, which were stored at mean temperatures of –1.4 to –1.2 °C:

1) NC: non‐superchilled whole cod

2) SC: superchilled whole cod

3) NC‐NC: non‐superchilled fillets from non‐superchilled whole cod

4) NC‐SC: superchilled fillets from non‐superchilled whole cod

5) SC‐NC: non‐superchilled fillets from superchilled whole cod

6) SC‐SC: superchilled fillets from superchilled whole cod

The results from the sensory evaluation indicate that superchilled processing of whole cod can extend shelf life by two days. Differences in values of pH, water content, water holding capacity and bacterial growth between the superchilled and non‐superchilled whole fish groups were minor. Differences in sensory scores between the fillet groups were small. Shelf life was estimated between 16 and 18 days which is quite long shelf life for cod fillets. However, the group SC‐SC seemed to retain freshness a little longer than other groups. As in case of the whole cod, the differences in bacterial count, chemical and physical properties between the fillet groups were small. Very similar fish temperatures between both the whole fish and the fillets groups resulting from the superchilled storage conditions applied may be the main reason for the small differences obtained. Thus, another study with more common temperature conditions during transport and storage of fresh fish (chilled but not superchilled) will be performed.  

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Effect of improved design of wholesale EPS fish boxes on thermal insulation and storage life of cod loins – simulation of air and sea transport

Author(s):

Björn Margeirsson, Hélène L. Lauzon, Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir, Eyjólfur Reynisson, Hannes Magnússon, Sigurjón Arason, Emilía Martinsdóttir

Funded by:

EU (contract FP6-016333-2) Chill-on, AVS Fund of Ministry of Fisheries in Iceland (project no. R037-08), Technology Development Fund of the Icelandic Centre for Research (project. no. 081304508), University of Iceland Research Fund

Contact

Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir

Project Manager

kolbrun.sveinsdottir@matis.is

Effect of improved design of wholesale EPS fish boxes on thermal insulation and storage life of cod loins – simulation of air and sea transport

Markmið tilraunanna var að rannsaka hve vel tvær tegundir frauðkassa verja þorskhnakkastykki fyrir dæmigerðu hitaálagi í flugflutningskeðju frá framleiðanda á norðanverðu Íslandi til kaupanda í Evrópu. Notast var við hitamælingar, skynmat, efna- og örverumælingar til að bera frauðkassana saman og kanna mikilvægi staðsetningar flakabita innan kassa (horn og miðja). Að lokum var geymsluþol hnakkastykkja, sem urðu fyrir dæmigerðu flugflutningshitaálagi, borið saman við geymsluþol hnakkastykkja við stöðuga -1 °C geymslu sem er raunhæfur möguleiki við gámaflutninga með skipum. Nýi frauðkassinn, sem hannaður var með FLUENT varmaflutningslíkani, reyndist betri en eldri kassinn með tilliti til varmaeinangrunar. Hitaálagið á fyrsta degi tilraunarinnar olli því að hæsti vöruhiti í hornum hækkaði í 5.4 °C í eldri gerðinni en einungis í 4.5 °C í þeirri nýju. Munur milli hæsta vöruhita í miðjum og hornum kassa var um 2 til 3 °C. Með skynmati var sýnt fram á að geymsla í nýja frauðkassanum leiddi til tveggja til þriggja daga lengra ferskleikatímabils og eins til tveggja daga lengra geymsluþols m.v. geymslu í eldri frauðkassanum. Munurinn milli kassanna var þó ekki staðfestur með efna- og örverumælingum. Staðsetning innan kassa (horn og miðja) hafði ekki marktæk áhrif á niðurstöður skynmats og var einungis um lítinn mun að ræða milli staðsetninga í mælingum á TVB-N og TMA. Hermun flug- og sjóflutnings (hitasveiflur og stöðugur hiti) leiddi í ljós að fyrir vel forkælda þorskhnakka má vænta eins til fimm daga lengra ferskleikatímabils og um þriggja til fimm daga lengra geymsluþols í vel hitastýrðum sjóflutningi miðað við dæmigerðan flugflutningsferil frá Norðurlandi. Þar sem sjóflutningur frá Íslandi tekur oft um fjórum til fimm dögum lengri tíma en flugflutningur (háð m.a. vikudegi og staðsetningu vinnslunnar) sýnir þetta að sjóflutningur er raunhæfur möguleiki fyrir íslenska ferskfiskframleiðendur. Með notkun á nýju frauðkössunum í flugflutningi á fiskurinn þó eftir lengra ferskleikatímabil þegar hann kemst í hendur kaupenda erlendis en í skipaflutningi.

2. útgáfa, mars 2011

Í fyrri útgáfu skýrslunnar þótti ekki nógu skýrt koma fram að sá umhverfishitaferill, sem líkja átti eftir sjóflutningi, miðaðist í raun við nokkurn veginn bestu mögulegu aðstæður í sjóflutningskeðjum ferskra fiskafurða frá Íslandi. Hitamælingar í kæliverkefnunum Hermun kæliferla og Chill-on hafa sýnt fram á að forflutningi innanlands fylgir oft óæskilegt hitaálag í nokkrar klst. hvort sem um er að ræða flug- eða sjóflutningskeðjur. Til þessa hitaálags var tekið tillit í tilfelli flugkeðjunnar en ekki sjóflutningskeðjunnar í fyrstu útgáfu skýrslunnar. Mest áhersla var á lengd geymsluþols í fyrri útgáfu skýrslunnar en bætt er við umfjöllun um ferskleikatímabil í nýrri útgáfu hennar.

The aim of the study was to investigate the performance of two different types of EPS boxes in protecting pre-chilled, fresh fish products subjected to temperature conditions, which are likely to occur during air- and land based, multimodal transport from a processor in North-Iceland to a wholesaler in Europe. The performance of the EPS boxes was evaluated by means of temperature monitoring, chemical- and microbial measurements and finally sensory evaluation. Furthermore, effect of fillet positions inside the wholesale fish packages (corner vs. middle) were investigated by means of the aforementioned methods. Finally, the shelf life of the air-transported simulation fish loins was compared to the shelf life of fish loins stored at around -1 °C, which can be achieved during non-interrupted and well temperature-controlled, containerised sea transport. The new box, designed with a numerical FLUENT heat transfer model, proved to be better with regard to thermal insulation than the old box. The thermal load during the first day of the experiment caused the maximum product temperatures in the bottom corners of the top and second top to rise to 5.4 °C and 4.5 °C for the original and new boxes, respectively. The maximum temperature in the middle of the boxes was around 2 to 3 °C lower than the maximum temperature in the bottom corners. According to sensory evaluation, storage in the new boxes resulted in approximately two to three days longer freshness period and one to two days longer shelf life than storage in the old boxes. The difference between the two box types is not as clear with regard to chemical and microbial measurements.

The sampling location (corner versus middle), did not significantly affect the sensory quality and only minor differences were noticed in TVB-N and TMA between sampling locations in the new box. Comparing the steady and dynamic storage in the old boxes it can be concluded that the increased freshness period (around 1-5 days) and shelf life (around 3-5 days) at steady temperature could compensate for the longer transport time by sea instead of air freight. This makes containerised sea transport a worthy choice for Icelandic fresh fish manufacturers depending on the week day and location of processing. However, for maximum remaining freshness period at the time of delivery to the buyer in Europe the results showed that air transport with the new boxes is the more advantageous transport mode relying on shorter transport time and improved thermal protection of the new boxes.

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Reports

The effect of cooling methods at processing and use of gel-packs on storage life of cod (Gadus morhua) loins – Effect of transport via air and sea on temperature control and retail-packaging on cod deterioration

Author(s):

Emilía Martinsdóttir, Hélène L. Lauzon, Björn Margeirsson, Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir, Lárus Þorvaldsson, Hannes Magnússon, Eyjólfur Reynisson, Arna Vigdís Jónsdóttir, Sigurjón Arason, Maria Eden

Funded by:

EU (contract FP6-016333-2) Chill-on, AVS, R&D Fund of Ministry of Fisheries in Iceland, the Technology Development Fund at the Icelandic Centre for Research

Contact

Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir

Project Manager

kolbrun.sveinsdottir@matis.is

The effect of cooling methods at processing and use of gel-packs on storage life of cod (Gadus morhua) loins – Effect of transport via air and sea on temperature control and retail-packaging on cod deterioration

Tilgangur tilraunanna var að kanna áhrif mismunandi kælingar við vinnslu og hitasveiflna í flutningi með og án kælimottu á geymsluþol þorskhnakka. Í vinnslu var borið saman að nota enga forkælingu fyrir flökun, vökvakælingu og roðkælingu (CBC) sem alltaf er með vökvakælingu. Áhrif hitasveiflna þar sem líkt var eftir í hitabreytingum í flutningi (RTS) voru borin saman við geymslu við stöðugt hitastig (-1 °C). Einnig voru metin áhrif þess að nota kælimottu í geymslu og flutningi. Sýni voru gæðametin með skynmati, örveru- og efnamælingum. Fylgst var með hitastigi með hitasíritum. Roðkældir þorskhnakkar í frauðplastkössum voru fluttir til Bremerhaven með flugi og skipi þar sem þeim var endurpakkað í loft og loftskiptar pakkningar (MAP) og þær geymdar við 1 °C. Gerðar voru efna- og örverumælingar til að fylgjast með gæðabreytingum. Hitastig roðkældra hnakka var lægra en hinna fyrstu 2 daga tilraunarinnar. Kælimotturnar höfðu ákveðin áhrif til lækkunar hitastigs þegar hitasveiflur voru í ferlinu og lægri hiti hélst gegnum allan geymslutímann. Samt sem áður hafði notkunin ekki áhrif á lengd ferskleikatíma eða geymsluþols samkvæmt skynmati. Örverufjöldi var heldur lægri ef hitasveiflur urðu í ferlinum en lítill munur var við stöðugt hitastig. Geymsla við stöðugt, lágt hitastig (-1 °C) lengdi geymsluþol um ca. 3 daga samkvæmt skynmati og var það í samræmi við örverutalningar og mælingar á TVB-N og TMA. Í tilraunum í Bremerhaven kom fram að örverufjöldi var yfirleitt lægri þegar notaðar voru loftskiptar umbúðir í samanburði við fisk í lofti. Þetta var sérstaklega áberandi í flugfiskinum. Fiskurinn sem fluttur var með skipi geymdist samt jafn lengi og fiskurinn sem fluttur var með flugi. Þetta orsakast af því að flugfiskurinn varð fyrir meiri hitasveiflum í flutningi og yfirborðshiti hans mældist 4 °C við komuna til Bremerhaven. Flutningstími með skipi var miklu lengri (+48 klst) en yfirborðshiti mældist undir 2 °C við móttöku. Notkun kælimotta hafði lítil áhrif á hitastigið í flutningi en samt sem áður var yfirborðshiti aðeins lægri í fiski með kælimottum við komuna til Bremerhaven bæði með flugi og skipi.

The main aim of the experiment was to investigate the effects of different cooling techniques during processing and temperature fluctuations during transport on the storage life of cod loins with and without gel packs. The following cooling techniques were studied: combined blast and contact (CBC) cooling (with liquid cooling prior to the CBC cooling), only liquid cooling and where no special cooling was used prior to deskinning and trimming. The effect of real temperature simulation (RTS) during storage was compared to a steady storage temperature of -1 °C. The samples were analysed with sensory, microbial and chemical methods. The temperature was monitored from packaging using temperature loggers. CBC cooled loins were transported to Bremerhaven via air and ship freight after packaging in EPS boxes. The fish was repacked in air and modified atmosphere and stored at 1 °C. Deteriorative changes were evaluated by microbial and chemical indicators. CBC cooling resulted in a lower temperature profile the first two days of the experiment. The use of gel packs lowered somewhat the temperature increase in the products when RTS was applied and lower temperature was maintained during the entire storage period. According to sensory evaluation, the use of gel packs did not result in prolonged freshness period or shelf life. According to microbial and chemical analysis no marked difference was seen whether gel packs were used or not in groups stored at a steady temperature. However, microbial counts were somewhat lower and slower formation of TVB-N and TMA occurred in RTS groups where gel packs were used compared to no gel packs. Storage at a steady -1 °C resulted in prolonged shelf life of three days according to sensory evaluation. This was confirmed by microbial and chemical analysis as lower microbial counts, TVB-N and TMA values were generally obtained in the steady temperature group than in the group receiving the RTS treatment. The storage studies carried out at Bremerhaven on modified atmosphere vs. air packed loins showed generally lower microbial counts, especially in the air transported fish. Deterioration process of air and sea freight fish was however similar. Re-packaging of sea freight fish at a later stage did not significantly affect its deteriorative process compared to re-packed air freight fish. This might be due to the fact, that the air freight fish was subject to high temperatures during transport and surface temperature reached over 4 °C. The sea freight fish had a much longer transport phase, but arrived with surface temperatures below 2° C. This shows that not only the time of re-packaging but also the temperature profile during transport are important factors influencing the deteriorative process and shelf life. Gel packs did not have significant cooling effect in this experiment. However the surface temperature in boxes with a gel pack was slightly lower than in boxes without a gel pack independently of transport mode used.

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