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Novel and Low-Cost Shelf Life Extension Process for Seafood

Technology Overview

The technology owner had developed a proprietary liquid solution that reduces the free water content in fresh seafood. This reduces the growth rate of spoilage bacteria and thus increases the shelf life of seafood by up to 100%. It also reduces the growth rate of harmful pathogens such as listeria, making the seafood safer and reducing the chance of a food-borne outbreak.

The technology can be easily applied to any type of seafood, e.g. shrimp, sea bass, salmon, etc. and in both gutted and filleted seafood. It can also be used as a pre-treatment in combination with other shelf-life extending processes such as cold-smoking or Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP). The technology proposition is especially interesting for ready-to-eat, value-added packaged products since it can improve quality and reduce food safety risks.

The technology owner is seeking producers and processors of seafood to adopt their technology and is open for collaboration in the form of a licensing agreement.

Technology Features & Specifications

The process itself is based on the naturally occurring phenomenon of osmosis. The seafood is immersed inside a custom vat which is filled with the proprietary liquid. The liquid comprises of compliant, natural ingredients of mainly vegetable oils, sugars, etc. During the process, the liquid draws out free water from the seafood’s tissues without changing its taste, odor or texture. The treatment process has been optimised for cost and speed. Depending on the application and scale, it typically costs less than EUR 0.1 per kg of fish treated and the process takes a maximum of 30 minutes for every batch of seafood to be treated. Typically, the solution can last up to 5 cycles of treatment. 

Potential Applications

The technology is applicable to all types and forms of seafood. It can be applied to fillets or gutted seafood or any other form. With small modifications, the technology can be applied to shrimp, sea bass, salmon or any other type of seafood including raw seafood ingredients that are sold by producers to processors.

Market Trends and Opportunities

The technology offered is a food preservation technology. The general preservatives market is projected to reach EUR2,54 billion by 2021. The technology owner positioned themselves as a disruptor in the market as they do not use any preservative additives and can provide a clean label for their customers. They also foresee a great market opportunity for high-value, ready-to-eat seafood products that they can help in bringing to the market. These products are set to become dominant as consumers are increasingly looking for easy, healthy and sustainable sources of protein.

Customer Benefits

Compared to using preservative additives the technology offers a clean label as the solution is based on natural ingredients and it does not affect the characteristics of the seafood, i.e. texture, taste and odor. The shelf life extension performance is over 100% while competing solutions are still well below that threshold. At the same time, the solution is very cost-effective both in terms of installation costs and operational costs. 

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