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With iPhone app consumers can evaluate the freshness of a batch of fish. (Photo: Nofima)

iPhone app lets consumers evaluate fish freshness

Click on the flag for more information about Norway NORWAY
Monday, May 09, 2011, 00:10 (GMT + 9)

The Norwegian Institute of Food, Fishery and Aquaculture Research (Nofima) has just launched an iPhone app so consumers can evaluate the freshness of a batch of fish. The app was released on the European Seafood Exposition (ESE) in Brussels.

The app is free and is aimed at fishmongers and others wanting to evaluate the shelf life of whole gutted fresh fish.

The freshness of the fish may be evaluated via a few steps, including odour, texture and the appearance of the eyes, skin and gills. The final result appears immediately.

“With the aid of competent seafood research, we have a good basis for being the leading seafood nation in the world. We can increase the export value first and foremost through innovation and development. This app is a good example of applied research,” says the Managing Director of the Norwegian Seafood Export Council (NSEC), Terje Martinussen.

He was the first person to test the new app when it was launched at the large ESE in Brussels on Wednesday.

Managing Director of the Norwegian Seafood Export Council, Terje Martinussen, was the first person to test the new app when it was launched at the large European Seafood Exposition. (Photo: Lidunn Boge, Nofima)

 “This method is the best tool available today to assess freshness. You don’t need to know how old the fish is as this method calculates the remaining shelf life of the fish,” says Project Manager Joop Luten from Nofima.

The app is based on the Quality Index Method (QIM), a standardised method for evaluating the freshness of fish, which was developed by scientists from several European research institutes and is now used worldwide. Until now users worldwide have downloaded the manual via the Internet, but the new app makes it even easier to use this method.

“It is extremely important that fish maintains high quality through the entire production chain, from catch and slaughter through to production, transport and the shop shelves. The app may be used to check the fish throughout the whole chain, providing the fish is raw, fresh and whole,” says Luten.

For the time being salmon, cod and plaice may be checked using the app, but this will in time be expanded to include other species, such as haddock, redfish, shrimps and saithe.

The “How fresh is your fish?” app is available in 11 languages including Norwegian.

Even though this method was initially intended for use in the fishery industry, it may also be used for teaching and at seafood counters in supermarkets. For the time being it is mostly used by the industry, at scientific institutions and inspection authorities.

The app is free and available to anyone with an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

Source: Nofima

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