Food Quality, Processing and Safety





OPTiMAT is a comprehensive project dealing with marine food resources through the value chain from catching to consumer´s table. The project consists of four sections

At present there are 5 PhD-candidates working on this project, within the following areas:

  • Microbiota, shelf life and food safety
  • Lightly processed seafood
  • Biofilm formation in the processing line
  • Macro algae – function in seafood
  • Control chamber and shelf life modelling

Project period: 2016-2023.

Project manager: Jørgen Lerfall

More information about OPTiMAT

Innovative technological solutions to improve shelf life of lightly processed seafood


  • Develop and optimise new combinations of process- and packaging technology for lightly processed products of salmon, cod and scallops (WP1)
  • Document the conservation effect of macroalgae and develop applications for shelf life extension of seafood (WP2)
  • Generate new knowledge on how the natural microbiota in seafood is affected by processing (WP3)
  • Develop a tool for defining the main factors limiting shelf life of differently processed seafood (WP4)

Industry partners in this project are (from the seafood industry): Dolmøy Seafood AS, HitraLaks AS, Lerow AS, North Atlantic Seaweed AS, Njord Solution AS and Krifofisk AS and (from the supply industry) Tommen Gram AS.

Project financed by: Regional Research Found and seafood industry (total frame 5 mill NOK)

Project period: 2015-2018.

Project manager: Jørgen Lerfall

Beer yeast from Trøndelag: isolation and characterization of wild yeasts from Trøndelag for use in brewing

This project aims at providing local yeasts for brewing by isolating and characterizing yeasts extracted from old wooden fermentation tubs collected from the Stjørdal-region. I addition, a selection of wild yeasts species isolated from spontaneously fermented rose hip wine (from an earlier project), will be tested for their beer fermentation ability. The most promising species of yeasts will be used in pilot brewing at the participating craft breweries.

The project is financed by the Regional Research Found (900 000 NOK) and the participating stakeholders: NTNU, Austmann Bryggeri as and Stjørdalsbryggeriet as.

Project period: 2017-2018.

Project manager: Anita N. Jakobsen

Curriculum Development for Sustainable Seafood and Nutrition Security

The Asia-Pacific region continues to be the world’s largest producer of fish. The capture production of the Asia-Pacific region has exceeded 50 percent of world production since 2006. Despite the prominence of fisheries and marine related studies in the region’s HEIs in the last few years, there seems to be a lack of Master programs focusing on Fisheries and Aquaculture Food Security, which the proposed project aims to fill.

The overall aim of the project is to find best practice to develop a new MSc curriculum focusing on sustainable seafood and nutrition security that should be offered at nine different universities located in Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia (3 in each country). The wider and long-term objective of the project is to make a viable contribution towards achieving sustainable seafood nutrition security in the project region. More specifically the project will have a long-term impact in securing the sufficient, safe, as well as environmentally, social and economically sustainable production of seafood in three of the region´s biggest aquaculture and capture fisheries producing countries.

The new MSc curriculum will include global issues affecting seafood production and trading, and will promote an understanding of the key factors affecting aquatic food production, post-harvest protocols, post-mortem metabolic events and microbial/chemical processes key for food safety and quality. Sensory assessment and shelf life extension technologies will also be covered. The curriculum will also examine other key issues in seafood trading such as traceability systems, certifications as well as the impact of governance and legislation on the global seafood sector. One of the aims of the curriculum will be to comprehensively follow the food chain from production through to consumer health and welfare.’

Partners: Asian Institute of Technology (Thailand), Maejo University (Thailand), Khon Kaen University (Thailand), Bogor Agricultural University (Indonesia), Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia), University of Stirling (UK), NTNU (Norway), EuroTraining (Greece), University of Thessaly (Greece), Jakarta Fisheries University (Indonesia), Can Tho University (Vietnam),  Research Institute For Aquaculture No. 1 (Vietnam) and Nong Lam University (Vietnam)

Project financed by: ERAMUS+, Key Action 2: Capacity-Building in Higher Education (EUR 1 mill.)

Project period: 3 years, started April 2018

Project manager: Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand

Local manager (NTNU): Jørgen Lerfall


The main aim of the project is to improve the microbial and sensory quality and safety of fish from harvest to consumer. The project will focus on farmed salmon and wild cod, which are the major species traded in Europe. Novel handling techniques and combination of innovative preservation technologies will be evaluated. The innovative handling and processing technologies developed will be used to improve control of safety and deterioration of valuable seafood while contributing to nutritional quality and consumer health as well as increased sales and competitiveness of European seafood.

Novel preservation methods to be studied include superchilling and modified atmosphere packaging in combination with chitosan coating and use of protective cultures. Determination of quality parameters include traditional methods such as drip loss, texture and water holding capacity. In addition development of volatiles will be analysed.

More information about Safefishdish


Pelagic fish are considered healthy due to the content of high-quality proteins, bioactive peptides, omega – 3 fatty acids, vitamin D, iodine and selenium. Despite this most of the pelagic fish is not used for human consumption. Most of the Atlantic herring and mackerel landed in Norway and Ireland is frozen and exported (600.000t) to other countries for processing. Most of the Baltic pelagic fish (sprat and herring) is used for fish meal because of the lack of a consumer market. Using pelagic fish and meeting the consumer expectation for healthy food, will increase use of pelagic fish for human consumption and local processing which is important in a global nutritional and environmental perspective.

Time-stressed life-style also affects dietary patterns increasing the intake of processed and fast food. Therefore, ready to eat fish products i.e. sous vide products, fishcakes rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, natural antioxidants could be an option for a healthy diet.

In order to guarantee the consumer healthy pelagic fish products, quality and beneficial components should be preserved through the whole processing chain. ProHealth will contribute to overcome the processing challenges and knowledge gaps that hinder the development of healthy pelagic fish food matrixes.


The project BioSuck aims at establishing a decision support system (DSS) that forces a redesign of the food processing industry with regard to an optimized waste collection system. This shall work via vacuum lines and subsequent processing of concentrated waste into bioenergy or recycling of nutrients. The redesign will save a significant quantity of water, because it requires considerably less water for cleaning purposes when waste is sucked off. This will accordingly decrease the disposed wastewater and thus reduce costs. The concentrated waste (high organic load fraction) can further be used for a self supply with nutrients (fertilizer, food or feeding purposes) and/or bioenergy generated by subsequent processes (biogas, bioethanol, hydrothermal carbonization).

More information about Biosuck


PROMAC will investigate seaweeds as novel raw materials for human food and domestic animal feed applications. Three different species of seaweed, all with significant potential for commercial cultivation in Norway as well as distinct raw material qualities, will be evaluated as alternative sources of proteins and energy in animal feed, and for their health benefits as human food. The project will:

  1. assess variation of raw material composition and quality from both harvested and cultured seaweed biomass in relation to environmental and biological factors,
  2. develop primary processes (washing / dehydration, maturation) which will enhance desired raw material properties,
  3. establish fractionation and extraction methods best suited to enrich beneficial proteins or remove undesirable anti-nutrients and (iv) evaluate nutritional and health values of processed macroalgal ingredients for various animal groups and in relation to their distinct digestive systems.

More information about PROMAC