News

Seafood-Age 6th Project Meeting and 2nd training session

For the first time in two years, the interim meeting went presential, more precisely hybrid. The M30 meeting was held past 8th & 9th November at the INL in Braga.  

A total of 34 participants attended the meeting, 18 of them online.

•          8th November: Coordination and Communication issues were addressed by Eva Balsa-Canto (IIM-CSIC) and Uxía Vázquez (INXENIA), followed by Elena Couñago (CETMAR) who presented the first results of the tasting trial developed with the collaboration of Fundación Dorzán. Afterwards, short presentations were made on behalf of BENBOA, LANC, IPMA, IIM-CSIC and IRMRS to give an update of the last developments made regarding the obtention of ingredients and the production of the RTE product. Paco Teira (BENBOA) offered a sample of the fillet with sauces to the partners and Manuel López (NOTPLA) showed the sachets that will be included in the final product. Finally, Uxía Vázquez (INXENIA) presented preliminary results on the carbon footprint of the SEAFOOD-AGE product and the progress made regarding packaging was presented by Maria de Sousa (UCC), Marta Lopez (IIM-CSIC) and Manuel Lopez (NOTPLA)

•          9th November: During the morning the 2nd training session addressed to the partners took place. This session, organised by Rozenn Le Vaillant (TQC) counted on the participation of Harri Määttä (OUAS), Ina Bremenkamp (UCC), Manuel Lopez (NOTPLA) and Hayley Alter (LANC), who gave didactic and demonstrative speeches on aspects related to packaging and smart predictive labels. The meeting finished with the participation of Carmen G. Sotelo, who talked about labelling and traceability. To wrap up, the project coordinator made a review of the project progress and invited to debate on the call for extension.

1st tasting trial event with potential consumers (people >65)

In the framework of SEAFOOD-AGE project WP3, CETMAR organised a tasting trial event with potential consumers (people >65) in Ourense (Spain), to explore elderly eating acceptance towards innovative RTE seafood products.

To start with the activity, a nutrition for healthy ageing talk by a specialist from Universidade de Santiago de Compostela (NUTRIAGE project) was developed in order to encourage the participation in the trial, and also to raise awareness about healthy ageing.

Secondly, three recipes were presented with different SEAFOOD-AGE food products. With the help of a form and a focus group, information about their preferences was collected. Although results from the tasting trial is under revision yet, this activity proved to be of great help to better shape the product. Moreover, the activity had a great acceptance among participants, who were really excited to be part of this experience, to learn about this project and to taste this food for the first time.

Apart from project partners collaboration to elaborate the presented recipes (from ingredients to packaging), the associate partner Fundación Dorzán was key for the organization of this event.

Collaboration from IIM, OPROMAR, IRMRS, IPMA, BENBOA, NOTPLA, Fundación Dorzán and CETMAR was appreciated during the organization of in this event.

Our partners from Oulu University of Applied Sciences (Oamk) participating at the Alihankinta Subcontracting Fair on 21st -23rd September

Finland’s leading industrial event Subcontracting and AlihankintaHEAT 2021 was organized for the first time after the pandemic gap year on September 21–23 2021. A total of 917 exhibitors from 16 countries and 7.460 visitors participated the event at Tampere Exhibition and Sports Centre.

The Subcontracting Trade Fair is an event where various innovations are exhibited, including products, services, production methods and processes, materials and components. The Subcontracting Trade Fair showcases the entire Finnish industry and its top companies. Annually there are hundreds of exhibitors from countries across the world and every year, over 2,000 innovations are presented.

Among the exhibitors, PrinLab – Development Laboratory for Printed Intelligence participated showing their experience in designing, manufacturing and test services to support R&D work. They took the opportunity to disseminate SEAFOOD-AGE project and show the Smart Predictive Label developed in the framework of this project.

New INL publication on techniques for rapid detection of pathogenic microorganisms in foods

A new article related to the detection of E. coli O157 has been accepted. On this occasion, the INL researchers have developed an isothermal technique (RPA) combined with a sample treatment that allows the detection of the bacteria on the same day the analysis is started, being able to see the result with the naked eye by color change, or with the help of a UV lamp.

This new article is added to others that INL has been publishing throughout SEAFOOD-AGE project with the support of FEDER funds through the INTERREG Atlantic Area Programme:

Video tutorials developed by IPMA instruct on how to assay biological activity of compounds

During the 1st training session organised by TQC on 4th November, the Portuguese Institute of Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA) showed the different methods to assess the bioactivity of ingredients. This action was intended to familiarize the partners with techniques and processes that can be carried out at lab. IPMA’s presentation was supported by a series of video tutorials developed by them in the framework of SEAFOOD-AGE project.

Now, these videos are available through SEAFOOD-AGE Youtube channel for any researcher or technician interested in these techniques:

How to obtain extracts from the algae Alaria esculenta in the lab?

How to assay in the laboratory the reducing power of biological compounds?

How to assay in the laboratory the chelating activity of biological compounds?

How to assay in the laboratory the antioxidant activity of biological compounds?

How to assay in the laboratory the anti-obesity activity of biological compounds?

How to assay in the laboratory the anti-hypertensive activity of biological compounds?

How to assay in the laboratory the antidiabetic activity of biological compounds?

First paper released by IPMA and IIM-CSIC in the framework of SEAFOOD-AGE

Our partners, the Portuguese Institute for the Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA) together with the Marine Research Institute (IIM-CSIC), have just published their first Open access paper in the framework of the project.

With the title «Characterization of Protein Hydrolysates from Fish Discards and By-Products from the North-West Spain Fishing Fleet as Potential Sources of Bioactive Peptides«, this article addresses the evaluation of different bioactivities (antioxidant, chelating, antidiabetic, anti-hypertensive, anti-obesity activities) of fish protein hydrolysates (FPH) as potential natural additives for functional foods or nutraceuticals.

Abstract: Fish discards and by-products can be transformed into high value-added products such as fish protein hydrolysates (FPH) containing bioactive peptides. Protein hydrolysates were prepared from different parts (whole fish, skin and head) of several discarded species of the North-West Spain fishing fleet using Alcalase. All hydrolysates had moisture and ash contents lower than 10% and 15%, respectively. The fat content of FPH varied between 1.5% and 9.4% and had high protein content (69.8–76.6%). The amino acids profiles of FPH are quite similar and the most abundant amino acids were glutamic and aspartic acids. All FPH exhibited antioxidant activity and those obtained from Atlantic horse mackerel heads presented the highest 2,2-diphenyl-1- icrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity, reducing power and Cu2+ chelating activity. On the other hand, hydrolysates from gurnard heads showed the highest ABTS radical scavenging activity and Fe2+ chelating activity. In what concerns the _-amylase inhibitory activity, the IC50 values recorded for FPH ranged between 5.70 and 84.37 mg/mL for blue whiting heads and whole Atlantic horse mackerel, respectively. _-Glucosidase inhibitory activity of FPH was relatively low but all FPH had high Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) inhibitory activity. Considering the biological activities, these FPH are potential natural additives for functional foods or nutraceuticals.

Seafood-Age 5th Project Meeting

With the aim of meeting all WP leaders availability, the fifth project meeting (24M) was celebrated during two sessions:

•          5th May: Coordination and Communication issues were addressed by Eva Balsa-Canto (IIM-CSIC) and Uxía Vázquez (INXENIA), followed by Hayley Alter (LANC) presenting co-design activities and Carla Pires, Narcisa Bandarra (IPMA), Xosé Antón Vázquez (IIM-CSIC) and Silvia Blanco (IRMRS) reporting the progress made regarding the production of ingredients.

•          25th May: The session was opened by the WP5 leaders, Carla Pires and Narcisa Bandarra, who talked about the Fish protein hydrolysates and Fish oil bioaccessibility. Alejandro Garrido (INL) presented the results obtained detecting Listeria, Marta López Cabo (IIM-CSIC) focused on the shelf-life studies and Eva Balsa-Canto showed software simulations of the cooking parameters depending on the geometry of the fillet.

Within WP6, Manuel Lopez (NOTPLA) and Maria de Sousa (UCC) reported on the different packaging being developed in the framework of SEAFOOD-AGE project. As for WP7, Harri Määttä (OUAS) showed how the SPL is working and Ana Sanchez (IIM-CSIC) contributed with methods for controlling traceability and labelling along the value chain.

Afterwards, Uxía Vázquez presented the provisional results of the Life Cycle Assessment from fish catch to the fillet preparation and Pierre Roudaut (TQC) talked about the plan for the trainings, interlab validation and pilot demonstrations. To finish, Elena Couñago (CETMAR) spoke about the Knowledge Outputs generated by the project and the sensorial tests to be carried out after summer.

Thirty-three participants followed the presentations and participated in the discussions.

Developing the use of Facebook to share experiences of fish and seafood product consumption

The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns has challenged us to work out how digital, online platforms can support us to carry out design research with stakeholders from a distance. In the Seafood AGE project, we’ve focussed on designing two key research methods to carry out in parallel. These are designed to establish practical feasibility, receptivity and cultural acceptance of  novel circular economy methods used to make the Seafood Age Ready to cook (RTC) fish product. The methods are designed to be delivered with parity and ease of translation across different Atlantic Area regions, and to support older research participants to engage.

The first method we designed was for engaging stakeholders across the ready to cook fish product value chain. See our last report, for how we did it.  The second method is for engaging would-be RTC fish product consumers to reflect on and exchange their thoughts and experiences around fish and seafood product consumption. The insights generated from this method will in turn be fed in to conversations with the stakeholders further upstream. Check out our latest REPORT_20210329_Developing use of facebook to share experiences of fish and seafood product consumption_v1, for how we designed the second method using the structure of a private Facebook ‘social learning group’ as a tool to support engagement.

The rationale for designing the Facebook social learning group builds on key pieces of learning from the work we’ve done to date including to use an accessible, low-threshold platform to support engagement and bring added value for older research participants. The method is designed to do this through conversation and exchange facilitated by us, supported and documented by a private Facebook group. Video conferencing is used in conjunction to carry out the conversation. While having a Facebook account for taking part is ideal, if a participant does not have a Facebook account, we can still use the group together with screen sharing to support and document conversation. If you’re interested in taking part and using our Facebook group to share your experiences of fish and seafood product consumption in conversation with Hayley, our Research Associate, please let her know! She’d love to hear from you. Either email Hayley at h.alter@lancaster.ac.uk or request to join the Facebook group.

Mapping feasibility with stakeholders on Miro: a new prototype research method for Seafood AGE

Our central task in the Seafood Age project is to develop and test prototype co-design research methods for establishing practical feasibility, receptivity and cultural acceptance of the Seafood Age Ready to cook (RTC) fish product and circular economy (CE) methods across RTC value chains in Atlantic Area regions. Through the methods we develop, we want to find out:

  1. What stakeholders see as the opportunities and risks associated with new processes and CE methods, product innovation and development for an older market, fish RTC manufacture and distribution, health, safety and nutrition,
  2. What would they design in and out of them and why?
  3. How do they see new CE methods, processes and so on applied to existing practices and what would be the barriers to application and what would support adoption?

Taking time from stakeholders as busy as those relevant to this work would be challenging at the best of times. Lockdown and social distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic further complicates matters. In response, we started with drawing on some of the recent learning on facilitating remote, digital methods documented by fellow co-design researchers in ImaginationLancaster and further afield. Next, we have developed a mapping method using the online platform, Miro. Our intent is to afford ourselves as many strengths of a workshop as possible whilst enabling remote, one-to-one engagement with stakeholders to link, compare and contrast perspectives, and co-construct a picture of feasibility across the value chain. We are developing this method with a view to being translated for use across Atlantic Area regions and their respective markets.

Check out the report for more on our rationale for developing this mapping method, progress being made with it, emerging insights into feasibility of the Seafood Age RTC product in industry, and our next steps.