Innovative processing to preserve positive health effects in pelagic fish products
The aim of the project is to develop a comprehensive toolbox of optimized existing and novel technologies for developing healthy, high quality, safe and sustainable fish products from pelagic fish species. Pelagic fish is rich in omega-3 lipids (EPA and DHA) with documented beneficial health effects, easily digestible proteins; vitamins (E and D). However, during processing; high temperatures, exposure to air, prooxidative components (like heme), may lead to loss or destruction of the valuable healthy components i.e. oxidation of omega-3 fatty acids and proteins. During raw material storage, microbial contamination can lead to formation of histamine. Therefore, optimal processing technologies to transfer healthy pelagic fish raw material into healthy and safe pre-prepared food products is needed. The goal of the ProHealth project have been achieved through five interconnected work packages. Consumer studies have been done to identify the properties the pelagic products need to meet to be purchased. The technological toolbox for developing healthy, high quality, safe and sustainable fish products from pelagic fish species consist of optimized technologies for preserving quality, health beneficial components and bioactivity and bioavailability of the healthy components. A consumer survey carried out in four countries showed differences in preferences for convenient fish products. Only about half the consumers believed in the need to increase their fish consumption. Preservation of mackerel with superchilling is promising regarding microbial stability but the method needs to be optimized to increase water holding and texture. Sous vide treated mackerel and herring has a good shelf life and adding antioxidants is important for preserving the valuable lipids. The combination of high-pressure processing and smoking enhanced quality attributes of mackerel and is a promising treatment to extend the shelf life. High pressure treatment of fish mince with pressure up to 200 MPa gave fish cakes with acceptable texture. Studies on mechanisms behind sous vide treatment, canning, high pressure processing and chilled storage has been combined with studies of new, rapid and innovative methods of analysis that can be used to follow process induced changes. Consumer tests showed that the new model fish cakes with 25 and 50% mackerel replacement had consumer acceptability not lower than conventionally produced white fish cakes. Sensory tests on canned fish confirmed that products from fresh raw material are better evaluated than frozen raw material. Changes in production process parameters should be adapted to the raw material. The effect of novel processing methods on nutritional properties and bioavailability was analyzed. Plasma technology did not give observable undesirable reactions such as lipid oxidation to the treated samples. The stability of the fatty acid composition of mackerel and nutritional quality indices was not affected by the treatment.
|Partner Organization||Partner Country|
|University of Perugia||Italy|
The ProHealth project has given new and valuable insight on consumer attitudes to fish consumption and especially towards pelagic fish in four European countries. This can be used both in development of new products but also in campaigns to increase fish consumption. The ProHealth project has also given increased knowledge on how new processing technologies – high pressure processing, plasma, superchilling, sous vide cooking can be used to increase the shelf life of pelagic fish but also how insight on the effect of these methods on the retention of the valuable nutrients (lipids, proteins) in pelagic fish. Model products with a high content of pelagic fish have been developed and found to have a good consumer acceptability.
The increased knowledge on the mechanisms underlying the new and innovative preservation technologies will make it possible to further improve these methods by optimizing process parameters. The knowledge on the innovative and new preservation methods will make it possible for the industry processing pelagic fish to do informed selection of the right processing technology for optimal shelf life and retention of quality.The knowledge on how these methods affect important health /biologically active) components in pelagic fish will enable better preservation of these molecules during processing and storage. The increased knowledge on consumer attitudes towards pelagic fish enable further development of new and improved consumer friendly products made from pelagics. This could lead to both more value creation and also increased employment generated in the pelagic industry as well as an increased consumption of pelagic fish in Europe.