It is extremely important to cool the catch rapidly during the first few hours after It is cought, as It lengthens the shelf-life of the fish drastically.
And in return; improving the quality of the catch.
It is a recognized fact that treatment and cooling speeds are the most important in maintaining fresh fish quality.
The key to increasing the quality of fish is rapid cooling, thus reducing microbial and bacterial formation.
Optimice® is a rapid cooling system on board the ship using seawater.
The liquid slurry ice surrounds the fish, quickly cooling it down below 0°C and keeping the temperature around -0.5°C. During the whole fishing trip, landing, during transport to manufacturers
and at the final consumer the fish stays at the same temperature without freezing.
Therefore, the cold chain never breaks with Optimice® rapid cooling and the fish stays fresh at all times, maintaining maximum quality.
Rapid cooling of the catch is key
As soon as a fish is caught, its decay begins and the sooner it gets refrigerated, the less bacteria will grow, shelf life will be prolonged and quality maintained.
The graph above shows the difference between cooling demersal fish with OptimICE slurry ice on the one hand and traditional flaked ice on the other.
The Slurry Ice system cools the fish down to below 0°C in less than one hour. Using traditional flaked ice, it takes around fifteen hours to reach the same temperature.
The difference in quality can be seen in the photos, taken of fish after fourteen days of cooling, where the upper one is cooled with slurry ice and the lower one with flaked ice.
Numerous studies have been performed on the cooling systems and all show similar results. The graph above is from Seafish Scotland. Matís, the Icelandic Food and Biotech research institute and the University of Akureyri as well as the International Journal of Refrigeration etc. have also researched slurry ice cooling and published similar results.
Cod after 14 days
The top one has been cooled with Optim-Ice and the one beneath was cooled with flake ice.
Source: Matís ltd. – Icelandic Food and Biotech R&D
Longer shelf life
By using OptimICE® liquid ice the shelf life is increased by 5-7 days.
Vislual evolution during the sampling days
A study conducted at the University of Iceland clearly shows the difference in quality in fresh cod over a fourteen-day period.
The difference between these cooling systems is tremendous. Surrounded by the slurry ice, the cod is of good quality on the fourteenth day, but in the flaked ice the quality has started to decrease a lot on the sixth day and on the fourteenth day the decay has become noticeable.
Increased Savings Using OptimICE
- There is a greatly reduced cost from using OptimICE.
- Energy saving onshore.
- No need to transport flake ice from harbour to the ship.
- Storage of flake ice onboard is unnecessary.
- All work with icing and stocking fish gets much easier and saves time and work.
- No partition of ice on board.
Where the cool chain never breaks
The rapid and efficient cooling of the catch ensures the freshness and quality of the product
The cooling never ends when the fish is in transport onshore. Even though cooling in a trailer fails, the cooling of the fish doesn’t stop because of the OptimICE.
The fish can finish the journey across the country and be complete and in a top condition all the way, due to the OptimICE. The new ice-less sub-chilling solutions are, on the other hand, very sensitive in transport.