Taste of North produces a variety of fish products based on local raw ingredients. They have been focusing on product development over the last year and one of the products they have been developing is juniper smoked salmon steaks.
“They had great faith in the product, but needed objective documentation of the sensory and microbiological quality in terms of the shelf life of the product before they launched it. That’s how they came into contact with us,” explains research scientist Anlaug Ådland Hansen, the project manager.
Nofima Mat was sent vacuum packed salmon steaks that were to be kept at 4 degrees Centigrade for up to eight weeks. Every week samples were tested for microbiological and sensory quality. The salmon was judged on a number of taste, smell and textural properties, including acidity, smoky flavour, bitterness, rancidity, juiciness, fattiness and tenderness.
A great result
“Analysis of the results showed good, stable quality throughout the eight weeks. In microbiological terms, the fillets were on target all the way.” The sensory assessors noticed some small change in acidity and tenderness in the fillets that had been kept the longest, but they point out that the changes were so small that a consumer would probably not notice any difference. Hansen believes that these good results rely on several conditions, including that the product had been well conserved, dry salted and smoked.
This is one of the areas in which companies can make use of Nofima’s expertise. Companies can have their products checked for shelf life, sensory quality and microbiological quality, providing them with good information about packaging and storage.
Taste of North is located in Tysfjord in Nordland. The company’s history goes back to 1946, so it has a long tradition of making fish products. The juniper smoked salmon steaks were launched at the seafood fair in Brussels in April. The company exhibited on the Nordland County stand. Taste of North has received good support from Innovation Norway. They also launched dried fish snacks in a “snuff tin”, a product which has brought good feedback.