Research collaboration in seafood processing
Campden BRI case study
To help address the technical needs of the seafood sector, we have built an excellent working relationship with Seafish, the UK Sea Fish Industry Authority – through a series of Seafish–funded research projects. These covered novel processing, image analysis to measure freshness, and knowledge transfer. Craig Leadley of Campden BRI briefly explains findings from one of the research areas:
"We undertook pilot trials to determine the benefits of high pressure processing (HPP) for seafood in the UK. This led to some very important findings – significant yield increases were observed in warm water prawns that were peeled after HPP treatment and the sensory quality of the product was close to that of the untreated control. Large yield increases were observed in the picking of brown crab. Brown meat yield was 23% in the HPP treated sample compared with 18% in the control. In addition, HPP was very successful for the inactivation of spoilage organisms in salmon and cod."
We have also looked at the application of time temperature integrators in seafood processing, and at fish freshness. Freshness is recognised as the key element of fish quality, and is significantly affected by storage time and temperature. Established sensory methods are commonly used but require skilled assessors. Using digital colour imaging (DigiEye) it proved possible to measure changes in cod gill filament colour, and eye cloudiness correlated with deterioration in freshness. Meanwhile, near-infrared (NIR) hyperspectral imaging and NIR bulk spectroscopy were applied to raw fish. With NIR imaging it was possible to identify which part of the fillet gave the best results for measuring freshness. For bulk spectroscopy, measurements of gill filaments gave the best model prediction of time stored.
Richard Watson of Seafish comments: "In addition to these research projects, Campden BRI has run a Seafish advanced seafood quality assessment course at their site, and has helped us to promote seafood assessment training. We have also collaborated in the organisation of an international fish and seafood conference."