This project aims to improve the shelf-life of Atlantic salmon and reduce seafood waste by using an innovative low-cost paper-based electrical gas sensor, which will measure spoilage gases in seafood to analyse freshness. The project will investigate improvements to prolong freshness and quality of produce, and ultimately extend the shelf-life of seafood.
In the seafood sector, data accuracy directly impacts the shelf-life of fish products. Research by the UN evidenced that ~50m tonnes of seafood goes to waste every year. 1-in-3 fish caught are wasted due to inefficiencies in the supply chain, typically going rotten before consumption. Seafood waste causes ~£40bn in economic losses. Currently, the seafood sector is highly regulated and relies on sell-by/use-by dates gathered via sensory data collection by handlers and in-lab testing. The industry adopts a fail-safe estimating the number of days of freshness, which is slow and imprecise. BlakBear uses an innovative low-cost paper-based electrical gas sensor (‘PEGS’) that gathers accurate real-time data on the freshness of seafood by measuring spoilage gases. In this Phase2 R&D project we will deploy, monitor and validate the accuracy of BlakBear non-destructive, non-intrusive sensors’ in-situ in the Atlantic Salmon supply chain. We will work closely with Young’s Seafood to deploy 250 Bluetooth-enabled PEGS into cargo boxes to analyse freshness, then validate data accuracy using industry-standard lab testing. Using our data-sensitive sensors we will optimise transportation conditions of Atlantic Salmon, and see if process improvements can prolong freshness and quality of produce. We will also work with Natalie Hunter to make technology considerations on supply-side sustainability and fish fraud prevention. In her day job Natalie is Head of Supply Chain at the Marine Stewardship Council. BlakBear sensors aim to extend shelf-life of seafood to improve the industry’s bottom line and minimise environmental impacts from waste, rotting in the supply chain, or over-fishing.