Potatoes extend shelf-life of fish

Thursday 14 Jun 12
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Charlotte Jacobsen
Professor, Head of Research Group
National Food Institute
+45 23 27 90 75

A group of researchers from the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark have extracted a group of substances from potato peelings that prevent the development of rancid smells in minced fish.

Fish cakes are a healthy and delicious dish, but minced fish has one drawback: The minced fish meat quickly reacts with oxygen from the air, making it smell and taste rancid. However, a group of researchers at the National Food Institute have identified a means to counteract this: potato peelings.

Using a potato peel extract, which contains antioxidants, the researchers have successfully reduced or completely prevented the detrimental oxidation of the minced fish. The antioxidant extract is mixed with the minced fish meat through normal stirring.

The research group has not yet tried to add the extract to whole fillets of fish. Fish fillets are often glazed before freezing, and the researchers envisage that the extract could be added to the glaze by industrial processors if it is going to be used for frozen fish fillets.

Very often antioxidants would have different effects in different foods. However, the potato peel extract has proven to have the same effect in both pure oil, oil-in-water emulsions and in minced fish, which makes the results particularly interesting for the food industry.

At the National Food Institute, research into antioxidants is being conducted, unlike in many other places worldwide, using real foods and not just in simple test-tube systems.

Read more
See article in DTU Avisen: Potatoes extend shelf-life of fish (only in Danish) and read more about the research results in scientific articles:

Food Chemistry: Potato peel extract as a natural antioxidant in chilled storage of minced horse mackerel (Trachurus trachurus): Effect on lipid and protein oxidation

Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ society: Antioxidant Activity of Potato Peel Extracts in Bulk Fish Oil and Oil in Water Emulsions

The project has been funded by a grant from the Villum Kann Rasmussen Foundation.