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Better fish powder

NORWAY - Fish powder is healthy, but it can become even healthier. A new research project will contribute to taking care of more of the fish's natural antioxidants.

Fish powder is used in particular in the manufacture of health food products, but also as flavouring in fish products.

Research can make fish powder even healthier.
Senior Scientist Jan Pettersen wants to improve the qualities of fish powder.

During the production of powder, the raw fish material is heated to a temperature of 90 degrees. Water and oil is then removed by pressing to ensure effective drying.

However, water soluble antioxidants disappear along with the water - substances which prevent the powder from becoming rancid.

Better flavour and quality

The heat treatment also leads to antioxidants being destroyed. The current solution is to add synthetic antioxidants.

"If we can retain more of the natural antioxidants in the raw fish material, we can gain a product with improved taste and oxidation stability," says Senior Scientist Jan Pettersen at Fiskeriforskning's department in Bergen.

Charting antioxidants

During this collaborative project with the University of Bergen, the researchers will chart the type and quantity of antioxidants in the raw fish material.

The researchers will also look at how the antioxidants can be taken care of during the process so that they are retained in the finished fish powder.

"This will also be economically beneficial for the industry if synthetic antioxidants don't need to be added," says Pettersen.

The University of Bergen and Fiskeriforskning have joined forces to employ a doctorate research fellow to work on the project.