Temperature is of key significance for the quality and shelf-life of fish and seafood products. Superchilling is a particularly effective cooling technique: the temperature is reduced to slightly below 0°C so that the fish is subject to intensive chilling without, however, freezing. Superchilling offers major benefits compared to conventional cooling with ice: the shelf-life is extended and the texture of the flesh becomes firmer.

China has a vast network of fish buyers and sellers, catering to growing demand of fish and fish products. Markets are constantly changing and new products are being developed in order to fill rapidly increasing demand in the domestic market. Eurofish recently visited the company Kangbao Foodstuffs Co., Ltd in Qingdao during a study tour to evaluate the possibility of utilising high quality by-products from the EU fish processing industry.

Regulation (EC) No. 104/2000 on the EU-wide uniform labelling of fishery and aquaculture products was implemented by the fish trade and industry largely without complaint. The new regulation (EC) No. 1379/2013 is meeting with resistance, however, because the costs are high and the benefit small. A lot of people doubt whether consumers really want or need to be provided with such comprehensive information on the labels of the foods they choose.

Functional food is the name given to foods which, beyond their actual nutritional value, also have additional properties that are achieved via technological treatment. The aim is to have a positive influence on consumers’ health, their physical and mental well-being, or even to prevent disease. Some foods – and these certainly include fish and seafood – already meet such claims naturally.

A pilot project under the Operational Programme “Sustainable Development of the Fisheries Sector and Coastal Fishing Areas 2007-2013,” was developed between 2010 and 2013 by a team of specialists from the National Marine Fisheries Research Institute and Koszalin University of Technology. The objective was to find ways of using carp that would improve the economy of carp farming.

Cold chains are temperature controlled supply chains. That means that on their path from the producer to the consumer certain products have to be kept, transported and stored continuously under defined temperature conditions at each individual trade level. Cold chains guarantee the storage life of seafood products, linking up far-off regions of the world and thereby enabling global trade.

Fisheries and aquaculture already offer a huge selection of fish and seafood species but with the help of spices, herbs and other ingredients the choice can be greatly expanded. A dish only becomes unique and distinguishable with the right seasoning. Finely tuned and skilfully composed, spices whet the appetite, bring out a fish product’s own individual features, and make it more digestible.

Fish and seafood have a high nutritional value but are at the same time sensitive, perishable foods. Packaging protects the products from harm and contributes towards reducing losses during transport, storage or at the retailer’s. The functions that packaging has to fulfil are accordingly diverse. And requirements are constantly growing, for the materials used to produce it are today expected to be as sustainable and recyclable as possible.

The majority of fish traded today has already undergone some form of processing. The best-known product is the largely boneless fillet which can be prepared – whole or in portions – without any further effort, both time-saving and waste-free. The range of fish cuts on the international markets is, however, much broader, even if some of them are hardly known and rarely used for value adding.

Fish and seafood contain valuable proteins and fats, plus a lot of moisture. This makes them on the one hand valuable foods but on the other hand prone to rapid spoilage. The most important measure for stopping bacterial and enzymatic decomposition processes is to provide sufficient cooling within the value chains or fast freezing that will guarantee preservation of all the essential freshness parameters over several months.

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