During 2005 a major consumer study has been conducted. In the study sensory evaluation of fish and consumer research in collaborate studies using sensory panels and consumers in 4 countries evaluating the same samples of two fish species was conducted and was a success. The study was performed in all 4 countries with totally 480 consumers. Wild and farmed salmon were collected by DIFRES and packed fresh/MAP/frozen and then sent by plane to all the other partners. Wild and farmed cod were collected by IFL and packed fresh/MAP/frozen and then sent by plane to all the other partners. DIFRES carried out the Quantitative Descriptive Analysis (QDA) for salmon and IFL for cod using their trained panels. QDA for salmon was carried out by the sensory panels the day before the consumer test. All the partners conducted the consumer test for 16 products (8) cod (8) salmon in 4 days over a 6 week period. The products varied in origin (wild or farmed), processing (freezing, MAP and ice storage) and storage time (short versus long storage). Consumers provided overall liking ratings on a 9-point scale, and could motivate their answer if they wished to do so. The consumer liking scores of the products were analysed with PCA to obtain a consumer preference map and analysed further with K-means cluster analysis. The differences between the clusters with regard to preference scores, attitudes and consumer background were analysed with ANOVA. PREFMAP or external preference mapping was also used, but by that approach, each of the consumers is related to the sensory attributes by regression analysis. In this approach the consumers were clustered visually and differences between the clusters were analysed by ANOVA. The first results indicate that there is a difference between clusters with regard to attitudes and background in both approaches. Also the data will be used to explain the eating quality varying from one species of seafood to another, and then again due to choice of storage, handling, packaging, transportation, etc. made at each point in the chain from seafood catch, or slaughter, to consumption.
A second activity in SEAFOODSENSE during 2005 has been the analysis of how sensory properties that determine eating quality are communicated between stages or decision-makers in seafood chain. Seafood is handled by a number of key persons at different stages of its time in the chain from catch, or slaughter in the case of farmed seafood, until time of consumption. In addition, there are many handling and product development options from which to choose at key stages in the chain. These options can vary from one species of seafood to another and depend on the degree of further processing and product development. Data were collected from the evaluations of sensory quality carried out by key persons in the fish chain. The industry questionnaire was conducted in Iceland, The Netherlands, Denmark and Ireland and key-actors in the fishery chain in each country were addressed. Quality decision-making was defined as: the possibility to differentiate different quality grades and being able to sell or buy fish according these quality grades. The results from the industry questionnaire showed that there is large variation in how structured and how well documented the information on sensory quality are in each of the individual companies throughout the European fishery chain. Though not in a systematic way, almost all companies assessed the products by its appearance and described general quality criteria, often related to freshness or other product specifications.