Thursday, February 02, 2023, 06:50 (GMT + 9)
Nobody wants to eat a fish gone bad, and so quality control is key to ensure freshness. Normally this is done by an experienced veterinarian looking at fish samples. The EU-funded FRESQO project has developed a prototype for a revolutionary automated tool that can improve this process, and so help to guarantee fresh fish.
Greek innovation to ensure fresh fish
Supplying the market with certified fishery products is one of the objectives of the European common fisheries policy. To achieve this, the quality of fishery products needs to be monitored and controlled. This control is normally done by an experienced veterinarian who examines fish samples in a laboratory, looking at the condition of the gills and eyes, the firmness and smell of the flesh, and the colour of the skin.
Supported by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, the FRESQO project gave four research organisations, with different research objectives, the opportunity to collaborate and look for an efficient alternative to the control sampling. They developed a revolutionary monitoring solution that quantifies the freshness of seafood. This promises to be a big help to the industry’s increasing need to be more responsive to food quality and food safety concerns.
Artificial intelligence and cutting-edge imagery
Image: FRESQO -->
The researchers have developed a portable tool that uses cutting-edge imaging sensors and artificial intelligence to quickly check the quality without the need to be in direct contact with the fish. It automatically recognises the freshness of the fish. The fact that it is portable makes it particularly useful in fish auctions where crates of fish are presented on a conveyor belt in front of potential buyers. The control tool can be installed above the conveyor, where it photographs every fish in the crate and provides an immediate quality assessment for each individual fish.
The images are run through a database that contains large numbers of images of the main commercial species on the Greek market. Based on this, the system is able to classify the freshness of the fish.
Innovation and start-ups
To the knowledge of the project partners, FRESQO is the only product in the fish quality estimation market that can
accurately detect the level of freshness and overall visual quality e.g., discoloration
create and provide access to the largest repository of fish species for freshness quantification, and
focus on global well-being in the context of the circular economy e.g. reduction of food waste
Others seem to agree, since a start-up company has taken on the task of commercialising this innovative tool.
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