Highlights from the First Open SEAFOODplus Conference


Only nine months after the official launch of SEAFOODplus a conference presenting the first research results from the integrated project was held. Read more about some of the scientific higlights delivered at the conference and who presented the exciting results.

Histamine is the culprit in histamine fish poisoning which is responsible for one in two incidents of fish-borne illnesses in the US and the UK. Paw Dalgaard and Jette Emborg from the Danish Institute for Fisheries Research (DIFRES) showed how the presence of histamine in fish could be strongly reduced. Their research could lead to better handling of the product and thereby a reduction in the incidence of the disease

Paw Dalgaard, DIFRES

Presentations at the conference covered a wide spectrum of topics representing a number of the 20 different research subprojects under SEAFOODplus. These ranged from the effect of seafood on human health to ethically defensible aquaculture. Other research is being done on muscle fibre, which could reduce problems with fillet texture, while one of the subprojects is trying to understand the genetic basis of quality traits such as high muscle fibre density.


In another presentation Fabienne Guerard from the University of West Britanny in France reported on substances derived from marine by-products that had potential benefits among others as blood pressure regulators and antioxidants. The latter are believed to mop up free radicals, which are associated with aging as well as with diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Her work can result in components for functional foods or nutraceuticals that target these illnesses.

L: Fabienne Guerard; Uni. West Brittany
R: Ian Johnston, Uni of St. Andrews

Conference moderator Torger Børresen who is also Project Coordinator of SEAFOODplus expressed his satisfaction with the conference saying “this is the first time that an EU project on this scale has been able to deliver the first results so soon after its inception. The meeting also provides an opportunity for participants in the different sub-projects to exchange experiences and develop synergies”.

L: Torger Børresen, DIFRES and Ingeborg Brouwer, Wageningen Centre for Food Science
R: Danish Minster for Food Fisheries and Agriculture, Hans Christian Schmidt

The SEAFOODplus project has also attracted significant interest from the private sector. Niels Alsted from feed manufacturer Biomar anticipates that the company stands to benefit from access to the research carried out within the project as well as from links to the other partners. Biomar is involved in one of the subprojects that is screening compounds that could affect feed uptake in farmed fish. This could lead to the development of feeds that give improved flesh quality. Another multinational Unilever is participating in research that seeks to understand oxidation of fats in order to prevent it in seafood products. Lipid oxidation with its impact on flavour and texture and colour is one of the main reasons the company uses mainly non-oily whitefish rather than oily fish in its products.

L: Niels Alsted, Biomar
R: Nick Hedges, Unilever