Deliverable D5.4 – Processing specifications, quality and safety assurance of the prototypes

Innovation and development of new products for exisiting and new markets is clearly needed for a long-term competitive supply-demand equilibrium of Mediterranean marine aquaculture. As in the rest of the food industry, the improvement of the competitiveness and sustainability of the sector is governed by current consumer trends, which translates into the need to transform aquaculture species to offer consumers the safe, quality and convenience products they demand.

MedAID’s WP5 aims to explore and validate the technical and market feasibility of developing different product alternatives of main Mediterranean aquaculture marine fish, by identifying the best market solutions, transforming fish into new value-added and tailor-made products to satisfy the needs of different consumer profiles (children, senior, gourmet/premium, ethnic etc.), while adapting to the needs of diverse food and fish market channels.

The aim of the work developed in Task 5.3.4. ”Food fish prototypes pre-scale-up needed for market validation”, and reported in this report (Deliverable 5.4) was to determine the optimum production process for product technical quality and safety and to elaborate the food prototypes needed for market validation with consumers in Spain, France and Germany (Task 5.4.1.). Four prototypes out of the eight new products previously designed in the Task 5.3 (Deliverable 5.3. ”Development of new added value fish prototypes at pilot-scale for different fish market channels” [Peral et al., 2020]), were selected for optimization and production at pre-industrial scale at AZTI´s plant through short production runs, followed by a market validation step so as to study the sensory acceptability, consumer preferences, food packaging and purchase intention among other parameters.Continue reading

Deliverable D7.2 – Principles and tools to foster social acceptability in Mediterranean aquaculture

Within the Blue Growth Strategy, aquaculture is perceived and quoted as a sector that has a high potential for sustainable employment and growth and that has to be developed. Despite a strong initial growth at the beginning of the Blue Revolution, European aquaculture, and in particular marine fish farming, began to stall and stagnate. The new drivers initiated by the Blue Growth Strategy seem to have great difficulty in reversing that trend and progressing towards the stated objectives in terms of production volumes, in the light of the production statistics over the last decade. Marine socio-ecosystems are complex systems, they demonstrate non-matching scales, surprises (non-linearities), interconnection with other systems, memory effects, choke points and so on. This complexity calls for more integrated assessment through integration of existing knowledge: integration of sciences (among disciplines), integration of sciences and society, integration of sciences and policy and integration of uses. Even though some integrated assessment frameworks were developed such as the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries, and its counterpart for aquaculture the Ecosystem Approach to Aquaculture, in practice they never really reached the required level of integration. In particular, these approaches focused on the ecological carrying capacity and left aside the social and institutional dimensions, especially the governance issues of these socio-ecosystems.Continue reading