Professor Santiago Aubourg, of CSIC, participated in the study. (Photo Credit: J.D.A./FIS)
Natural acids extend megrim and hake shelf life
Wednesday, March 06, 2013, 03:20 (GMT + 9)
A team of researchers from various scientific institutions in the country developed a new preservation technique that extends the shelf life of fishery resources caught in distant places.
The method developed allows fish to remain fresh for two weeks, until it is landed and traded.
The project involved scientists from the Institute of Marine Research in Vigo (IIM), the National Research Council (CSIC), the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC), and the Cooperative of Shipowners of Puerto Vigo (ARVI).
The research was conducted between December 2010 and December 2012, and was funded by Xunta de Galicia and by ARVI.
The researchers focused on the study of two species of Gran Sol fishery: megrim (Lepidorhombus whiffiagonis) and hake (Merluccius merluccius).
So far, the conservation of marine species on board has been performed mainly with traditional ice, a practical method that, according to CSIC Professor Santiago Aubourg, "is not effective in all cases and could be improved," the agency Europa Press reported.
This time, the experts were able to develop a new strategy which also uses traditional ice and incorporates citric and lactic acid, two natural acids known for their antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.
In addition, these acids are easily available and have a low price.
As the CSIC noted, "the results have been highly satisfactory" because it was found out that by including the two acids in cooling ice it is possible for the product to be preserved for four extra days.
The strategy can be implemented on all kinds of marine species, although it is necessary to enhance the concentration of acid to be used according to each resource.
This new conservation method will help vessels and businesses to have a fresher product offering higher quality.
By Analia Murias