Via a few steps on the iPhone app, you may evaluate the freshness of fish, including through odour, texture and the appearance of the eyes, skin and gills. The final result appears immediately.
The app “How fresh is your fish?” is free and is aimed at professional users such as fish producers, distributors and fishmongers and others wanting to evaluate the shelf life of whole gutted fresh fish.
“This app has great potential as a documentation and control tool for us and our customers. Today, we carry out similar manual controls every second hour,” says Børge Holm, the Production Manager of Nordlaks Produkter in Stokmarknes in Nordland. “This app can help us to make the control process more efficient. Our customers can also carry out when they receive the fish and then send us the results. This will help us to get more rapid feedback if problems have occurred, for example during transportation.”
Nordlaks farms salmon and sells salmon products to customers in Norway and abroad.
Quality index method
The app is based on the Quality Index Method (QIM), a standardised method for evaluating the freshness of fish, which was developed by scientists from Nofima and several other European research institutes.
“Further development of the app can make it a very good documentation tool for producers like us,” says Holm. “If you could also transfer the results and photos to the company’s documentation system, the app would be a valuable quality tool for companies like us.”
“This method is the best tool available today to assess freshness. You don’t need to know how old the fish is as this method calculates the remaining shelf life of the fish. This is the first version. We are working on further developments to the app further based on the feedback we have received from those who have tested it. The updated version will be ready this autumn,” says Project Manager Joop Luten from Nofima.
For the time being salmon, cod and plaice may be checked using the app, but this will in time be expanded to include other species, including haddock, redfish, shrimps and saithe.
“The path from research reports to the app store is something which is unfamiliar for scientists like me,” says Luten.
“We are used to publishing our research results in scientific journals. But this provides us a completely new audience. In this way, the results from the extensive research that is behind this can reach a far larger audience than previously. Two months after the launch, the app has already been downloaded several times more than the written material about the quality index method which has been available on the internet for several years. The app has been downloaded in 43 different countries.”
The “How fresh is my fish?” app is available in 11 languages including Norwegian. . It may be used by anyone with an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. If you want to try the app, you will find it at the app store.
If you have any feedback or suggestions for improvements, please contact Joop Luten (firstname.lastname@example.org).