Block 1: Determine seafood eating quality preferences
The first major block of work (Workpackage 2.2.1) will use the technique of Preference Mapping, which is a structured means to understand consumer perceptions of eating quality, to relate descriptive sensory analysis data, consumer preference data, and consumer attitudinal and behavioural data. These data will be collected using the most up-to-date and innovative techniques, applied with key variables determining quality of selected seafood species, and consumers representing different cultures and target markets. Application of these Preference Maps will give direction for the development of consumer-oriented Seafood Sensory Quality Models in WP 2.2.2.
Block 2: Develop Seafood Sensory Quality Models
The second major block of work will determine effects of environmental factors on seafood sensory quality. Key decision makers determine quality at each stage in the seafood handling chain. However, the basis of their quality decision may not relate well with that of another quality decision maker later in the chain, or ultimately with that of the consumer, who is the final judge of eating quality. Therefore, eating quality determined in WP 2.2.1 will provide the target for statistical modelling of data collected from the evaluations of sensory quality carried out by key persons in the seafood handling chain, and from descriptive sensory evaluations carried out in parallel by trained panels of the project partners. Experimental designs will be used to test the relative importance of key factors in determining seafood eating quality. Factors to study will be chosen based on advice received from other Pillars in the SEAFOODplus project. The model philosophy will be based on the Quality Index Method (QIM). These models will enable eating quality to be communicated from the consumer back through the quality chain to catch. Models will be continuously updated and validated throughout the lifetime of the project.
Block 3: Apply seafood quality models to improve seafood quality and increase consumer seafood intake.
The third major block of work will provide outcomes that are directly applicable in product development, storage and distribution and marketing of seafood. SMEs and other seafood industry will be invited to apply the Seafood Eating Quality Models developed. This application will result in improving the eating quality of seafood available to consumers. In collaboration with partners in other SEAFOODplus Pillar 2 projects, consumers will be informed of this improvement in quality in an appropiate way, leading to increased seafood consumption and ultimately to improved nutritional status and health. These tasks in this workpackage will take place following Month 18 of the project, when valid and robust Seafood Eating Quality Models are established.