Norwegian Institute of Food, Fishery and Aquaculture Nofima has developed a new packaging method that lets salmon stay fresh for up to 20 days.
The new Superfresh technology is a form of packaging in which salmon is placed on a CO2 emitter, produced by Cellcomb Foodpad in Sweden, comprising of baking powder and citric acid, amongst other elements.
The product is then packed in such a way that air is removed from the pack prior to sealing, using the modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) process.
With the Superfresh method, the product will stay fresh at a constant low temperature, or 10-12 days at 4°C.
Nofima's initial research was aimed at finding a packaging method designed specifically for cod and salmon fillets, but the method could also be used for other types of fish as well as for meat.
Nofima senior research scientist Marit Kvalvåg Pettersen said the cushion develops CO2 gas after the pack is sealed, and it also has absorbent properties.
"This CO2 emitter has been adapted for the product, so that it does not change the fish's pH value, and sensory tests have also shown that the fish often has a higher quality than with comparable packaging methods," Pettersen said.
Superfresh, which is currently in production and ready for the market, will be launched by Vartdal Plastindustrier at the seafood fair in Brussels, taking place from 23-25 April 2013.
Vartdal Plastindustrier director Jan Endre Vartdal said, "We envisage two main groups that could benefit from this packaging method for fresh food products. One is the industry that prepares and serves food - what we call the HORECA segment in our terminology. The other is the consumer market, where this CO2 emitter can be used in a variety of packagings."
The research is financed by the Research Council of Norway as well as by Innovation Norway, Nofima, Vartdal Plast and two fish processors.
Image: Superfresh packaging technology enables salmon to stay fresh for up to 20 days; Photo: Courtesy of Vartdal Plastindustrier.