The purpose of this project is to develop rapid methods of analysis that can measure the amount of water and salt in a variety of seafood products such as salmon caviar (ikura),
smoked salmon of different types, and cured salmon (teijin) without destroying the sample. The methods will be based on a fiber optic spectrometer, which measures the amount of near infrared light absorbed by the sample. Specific objectives for this project include determining how fish tissue and roe interact with near infrared light; ensuring that measurements are representative of the bulk properties of these foods; tailoring the design of the optic probes for the specific types of samples; developing methods of analysis for water and salt that can be used in the seafood industry. The availability of fast and non-destructive tests will assist processors in developing safe and consistently high quality products.
Food safety is of critical importance for a myriad of smoked and cured fishproducts on our markets. These foods do not receive a heat treatment, which would kill harmful microorganisms and often pose food safety risks if not properly processed or handled. Several parameters are closely monitored including water and salt content to ensure that these foods do not support the growth of dangerous microorganisms. Only destructive and lengthy methods are currently available for such measurements.