8 tons less salt
A thorough focus on salt reductions in all lightly preserved product categories has enabled Royal Greenland to take out 8 tons of salt in brined shrimp alone, in a year’s production. 37 new products have been developed and the new low salt range is state-of-the-art.
With the support of the newly developed mathematical models and software, that are able to predict potential growth of hazardous microorganisms in lightly preserved seafood, Royal Greenland has managed to take out 8 tons of salt alone in brined shrimp. In all lightly preserved product-categories (smoked and marinated fish, brined shellfish and caviar), Royal Greenland now offers a low salt alternative that among other things lives up to the health requirements of the Nordic Green Keyhole label.
Smoked and marinated fish
In smoked and marinated fish, especially the fear of Listeria monocytogenes that can cause the illness Listeriosis – a serious infection - have caused producers to refrain from lowering the salt levels in the fish.
However, a thorough research into understanding the behavior of Listeria monocytogenes, and other hazardous bacteria, has now made it possible to lower salt level and compensate the effect of the salt by lowering the pH value in the product by adding organic acids(3). This way the product keeps its relatively long shelf life and pleases the consumer with a far more refined and natural flavor.
Royal Greenland offers a range of low salt, cold- or hot-smoked and marinated items for both retail and foodservice customers.
As pasteurized caviar and roe normally have a long shelf life of up to 24 months, predicting potential bacteria growth very precisely, is of utmost importance for food safety. Traditionally the response to that challenge has been to add a lot of salt, which unfortunately covers up the fine and mild flavor of the roe. Again, with the help of new predictive software it is possible to analyze the risk of bacteria growth and develop refined recipes that delivers tasty, healthy and safe products.
“Especially the model developed for roe has required hundreds of samples to be analyzed, to fully understand the potential bacteria growth in this relatively complex product – but to have this data in place has been invaluable in the further steps we have reached in our development” Pernille Jacobsen, Product developer.
Upon reducing salt levels, Royal Greenland has been able to take the next big step in development of lumpfish caviar – namely to develop new variants with use of 100% natural colors – a true innovation that tabs into consumer trends of naturalness in both flavor and ingredients.
Ambitious goals were set for brined shellfish from the beginning, as the aim has been to reduce salt level to below 1,5% compared to the usual 2-3%.
In this case, especially the psychrotolerant bacterium Clostridium botulinum, that is able to grow at low temperatures, has been scrutinized. Left to grow this bacterium can cause severe health risk to consumers. As it does not develop any off-taste or -smell it is impossible for consumers to detect. Also the family of Pseudomonas are of concern as these bacteria can cause spoilage of the products, also at low temperatures.
By using the new predictive models, and a restructure of some procedures in the production, Royal Greenland has been able to develop coldwater shrimp in brine with a salt level of 1,4%. The result is a natural tasting shrimp, where the brine is more neutral and lets the fine taste of shrimp shine.
(3) Mejlholm, O., Dalgaard, P. (2014) Modelling and predicting the simultaneous growth of Listeria monocytogenes and psychrotolerant lactic acid bacteria in processed seafood and mayonnaise-based seafood salads. Food Microbiology