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New study confirms longer shelf-life for Royal Greenland’s Chilled Selection™ cod

28.05.2020

A new Ph.D. thesis by Jonas Steenholdt Sørensen from DTU, the Technical University of Denmark, has shown an extended shelf-life of Royal Greenland’s Chilled Selection™ cod products of up to 10 days from production. Two circumstances; A controlled processing environment and the storage conditions have proven to be decisive in obtaining longer shelf-life for the products.

Royal Greenland developed its unique processing method for Nutaaq® cod in 2015, where a desire to optimize on product quality and focus on local workplaces in Greenland, led to a redesign of the entire catch and value-added process for cod in Greenland. The result of this process was Nutaaq® – Greenlandic for ‘new’ – a product that raised the bar for frozen cod quality in the industry.

With the results of the recently submitted Ph.D. by Jonas Steenholdt Sørensen, Royal Greenland’s Nutaaq® cod now also raise the bar as the raw material basis for our Chilled Selection™ cod with a scientifically proven longer period of shelf-life of up to 10 days.

Controlled processing and optimal storage give longer shelf-life

The purpose of the thesis has been to investigate and map whether the new production method for cod could contribute to increased food quality, longer shelf-life for our Chilled Selection™ and in the end also reduced food waste. The thesis branches out to several different studies, where one of these focus on shelf-life for refreshed cod. This study took its offset in headed and gutted Nutaaq® cod frozen at -20° C for 5 months and thawed in a controlled environment. The goal of the study was to reach a main European market like Italy or France with the longest remaining shelf-life possible with a starting point for the thawed raw material in Northern Denmark, which has been a challenge due to the length of the travel time.

In order to obtain a prolonged shelf-life, the refreshed cod was tested on different storage methods during transport, where MAP revealed the absolute best potential but also storage on ice w/o MAP performed well. The shelf-life for refreshed cod on ice was theoretically extended with up to 19 days with no signs of spoilage when stored at temperatures up to 2,9°C. On top of this, the refreshed cod also showed a very low percentage of drip loss (less than 3,6%) compared to similar cod from other productions.

With the proven longer shelf-life of the raw material stored on ice, the Chilled Selection™ cod is, based on the principle of precaution, given a shelf-life of 10 days, and is thus able to reach its destination at central fish markets in Europe with long shelf-life, giving Royal Greenland a new advantage in the market for fresh cod.

“We are excited that our expectations towards our production setup and expectations for Chilled Selection™ cod is now scientifically proven. We knew that combining methods from the Frozen at Sea production with learnings from aqua-culture would lead us to a product of high quality, but the results from the thesis enable us to truly compete with fresh fish on quality and shelf-life. Our unique advantage here is that this product and production setup enables us to offer a steady supply and deliver year-round without price fluctuations and seasonal changes”, says Niels Wann, Category Manager at Royal Greenland.

The basis for obtaining the extended shelf-life was found in the controlled production process applied to the Nutaaq® production, which resulted in a lower number of bacteria present in the raw material than traditionally processed cod. Further tests revealed that especially the absence of P. carnosum bacteria in the Nutaaq® cod was a determining factor for the long shelf-life.

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