Due to low profitability, the white fish industry has become an important political issue in Norway over the past few years. It is necessary to develop knowledge and technology to increase sustainability and profitability of cod production in Norway, enabling  participants in the industry to meet market demands for safe products with high quality and at sufficient volumes throughout the year.

The project we will strive to reach the following three objectives:

  1. Develop new technology for monitoring and optimization of thawing processes
  2. Develop sorting and grading technology that enable delivery of “the right product to the right market“, and
  3. Assess food safety and quality as affected by the introduction of new technology

Characterization of raw materials followed by differentiation prior to production and during the processing stage is required to obtain target quality demanded by the market. Rapid in-/on-line methods, which are increasingly used in the food industry, will be applied in the project. Automated sorting and grading has been shown to increase utilization of raw materials, value adding, increase effectiveness, and generate more sustainable solutions for a range of food industries and value chains. The white fish industry needs to be able to compete with large international food companies which are rapidly developing a range of new products. Implementation of QualiFish technology will increase the value adding per kg produced product and increase the whitefish product spectrum, as well as the competitiveness of the Norwegian whitefish sector.

A large part of the commercial catch of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) is frozen at sea in plate freezers, typically 1-6 hours after the catching. If Atlantic cod is correctly frozen, stored and thawed, the quality can be good and of comparable quality to fresh fish. The choice of thawing method is very important with regard to the quality of the fish, since thawing can escalate chemical reactions and muscle degradation. Many different thawing methods have been used for frozen fish but the selection of method is dependent on factors such as fish size and species… High quality frozen/thawed raw material can contribute to a more continuous production throughout the year, enabling the Norwegian whitefish industry to supply the market with high quality products during the entire year.