Project 4.2 HURDLETECH

Hurdle technology (including minimal processing) to ensure quality and safety of convenience seafood


3. Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER), France, 37. Ecole Nationale d'Ingénieurs des Techniques des Industries Agricole et Alimentaires (ENITIAA), France; 9. Icelandic Fisheries Laboratories (IFL), Iceland; 7. AZTI, Spain; 2. Norwegian Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture (NIFA), Norway; 4. Netherlands Institute for Fisheries Research (RIVO), The Netherlands.


The main objective of the project is

- To ensure the safety and quality of convenience seafood products.


A total chain approach is chosen. This involves (1) to identify major origins for contamination during processing, (2) to minimise the survival of pathogens and spoilage bacteria during processing, (i.e after process hurdles like salting, drying, smoking, acid-ripening, freezing etc, and novel technological hurdle like pulsed light), and (3) prevent growth in the product (combination of different hurdles, including protective culture and active packaging with anti-microbial compounds).

The studies in this project will focus on two groups of products. The first, lightly preserved fish products (LPFPs), are usually produced from fresh seafood and further processing involves one or a few additional steps which increase risk of cross contamination. The treatments are usually not sufficient to destroy pathogens, and, as several of these products are eaten raw, minimising the presence and prevent growth of pathogens is essential for the food safety. The other product group is convenience products based on traditional products, like rehydrated salt-cured or dried products. The raw material is a preserved semi-finished product (PSFP), but as the preservative is removed during processing, surviving pathogens in the raw material may recover. Minimising the survival of pathogens in the PSFPs is therefore, beside the hygienic process conditions, necessary to ensure product safety. Both groups of products are frequently used in ready-to-eat full meals, including meals for microwave heating. Studies of cross-contamination and effect of heat treatments are therefore included. The research within the project is described in three major blocks of activities.


Read about this and the other projects in RTD Pillar 4 Seafood from source to consumer product in the Eurofish magazine article


Safe, nutritious, healthy products that are a pleasure to eat



Major research achievements

The major research achievements are described in the following subpages for each project year:


2004            2005           2006          2007        2008 


Projectleader HURDLETECH
Dr. Francoise Leroi