NIR technology for fish processing analysis

New developments in the NIR technology are providing a wealth of opportunities. We have been speaking with Iberian Sales Manager, Diego Calvari, about business opportunities and needs for analytical solutions within the seafood production industry.


The fish industry is in constant development. With a growing demand for seafood worldwide, producers need to optimize the use of the raw material, secure quality, and minimize waste. New technologies have made it possible to analyze fish and seafood on-the-spot at fish distribution centers, at the seafood production site, or directly on the boat, where the fish are caught, and with years of experience using NIR in the food and agricultural industry, FOSS is ready to provide quality analysis solutions for every part of the seafood industry. 


Speaking with Iberian Sales Manager Diego Calvari, he explains how NIR has been used to analyze all kinds of fresh fish, cooked fish, smoked salmon, surimi, and fish burgers. “In Spain, we had a case with a surimi producer that was producing surimi-based products using different recipes at the same line for 16 hours a day. All products had different colors, fat content, etc. Before using FOSS´ solution, the company relied on their intuition by counting some seconds each time they changed the packaging and thereafter changed the product/recipe, relying on the marginal error this would naturally apply. By using the FOSS solution, they are now able to decide the exact time to change the packaging of the product and recipe. Using the ProFoss™ 2 they can now continuously measure the fat, moisture, protein, and salt content and thereby decide add so the product meets specifications without errors or mistakes”, Diego explains.  


“Another customer in Spain uses the FoodScan™ 2 in its smoked salmon production to check fat and moisture content. The more fat a fish has the more smoke it absorbs, so by measuring the fat and moisture content, the production can control the time, intensity, and temperature in the smoking process better.” Diego explains “This customer also uses the FoodScan™ 2 to measure pH. The pH is an indicator of sanitary quality in the raw material and also as an indicator of food safety in the final product. Likewise, it measures water activity in the final product as an indicator of food safety. Using a rapid NIR instrument such as the FoodScan™ 2 is an ideal way to test a lot of parameters in different samples quickly. It saves them time and money while ensuring consistent quality of delivered products.” he explains.  



On-the-spot fish and seafood quality analysis


Traditional analytical methods for fish and seafood quality analysis include various physicochemical, textural, sensory, and electrical methods. Despite the importance of these standard methods, they are expensive and time-consuming and susceptible to variation. Analytical solutions based on near infrared (NIR) have therefore become popular due to the speed of analysis, minimal sample preparation, and high repeatability. 

Multiple parameters including moisture, fat, oils, salt, pH, and more can be delivered within half a minute making NIR a versatile solution for different application areas from laboratories seeking a fast turnaround time, to analysis directly in the processing environment. The instruments can be used in the production environment and for all stages of fish processing, from raw material to final product control. The FoodScan™ 2 Fish Analyser which gives you accurate results in just 25 seconds is just one solution optimized for the seafood industry.

Advantages of fish and seafood quality analysis include an optimal selection of raw material, exact matching of fat content specifications, production efficiency, and ultimately, brand protection through compliance with end-product specifications and legal declarations.


Read more about FOSS’s solutions for the fish industry here

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