Over 80% of the world production of farmed Atlantic salmon is farmed in Europe. About 40% of this quantity, or above 250.000 tons, is smoked. Recently, concerns have been expressed by smoked salmon producers regarding the flesh quality and suitability for smoking of salmon that is farmed today. The main purpose of the project is to establish the necessary technical base to solve the main quality problems related to smoked salmon products. This will be carried out by multidisciplinary research activities carried out in a continuous chain from farming to the consumer using physical, chemical and sensory measurements. To understand the origin of these phenomena, an experimental design is proposed to identify influent factors such as feed/feeding and salting and smoking processes on the quality of the final product and to adapt the results to consumer's expectations in five different market segments in Europe.
The main objectives of the project are to improve the quality of smoked salmon by enabling the European industry to deliver salmon with adapted quality to the different market segments in Europe. Furthermore, the aim of the project is to establish the necessary technical base to solve the main quality problems, i.e. fat leakagein processing and colour fading during storage, related to smoked salmon products.
This will be achieved by:
- Mapping differences between preferences and deliveries by:
- Map the preference/habit of consumption of smoked salmon in selected EU-countries
- Map sensorial, chemical and physical characteristics of smoked salmon in selected EU-countries.
- Tailoring smoked salmon according to consumer preferences by:
- Investigate the effects of chilled storage prior to smoking, final product salt content and smoking temperature during smoking on the predicted quality characteristics for different raw materials.
- Understand the mechanism behind fat leakage to be able to control it.
- Understand the mechanisms behind colour fading to be able to control it.
- The project will increase the competitiveness of the European salmon production and smoking industry by enable them to deliver products to the European markets that satisfy the consumers preferences.
- Better understanding on the mechanism behind fat leakage and colour fading will make it easier to control the quality of smoked salmon, hence, fewer incidences where unequal quality causes significant losses can be expected.
- Products that are of consistent quality will result in increased competitiveness as well as improved image of the product and producer.
The extension of possible markets for SMEs within Europe could be achieved with the dissemination of results through an established user group. The information will enable farmers and SME processors to tune the attributes of their products more efficiently to different market requirements.