A research team from the Institute of Food Technology at the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain is working on a project to evaluate a new liquid freezing technique in the Gran Sol fleet, according to a report from FIS.com.
The research was undertaken after the technology was successfully used to preserve a range of fish which included turbot, horse mackerel and hake.
The liquid ice, which is a mixture of freezing water and ice, is said to work well for a range of seafood because it adapts to the surfaces and freezes quickly, producing a highly efficient preservation effect. The research team said that the method had proved to extend the shelf life of most fish considerably, and in the specific case of turbot it had managed to increase it by as much as 50 per cent.
Head researcher Jorge Barros, said that the freezing system "is kept between 0ºC and -2ºC which means the fish does not actually freeze but is kept at such a low temperature that its preservation and its quality and properties are better maintained".
The system is already being used to fish red tuna in the Mediterranean, but the research team's aim is to extend the applications for its use.The liquid ice is actually made from filtered sea water which can be readily pumped into the vessels. This method is said to make the process more hygienic and easier to handle than traditional methods.
From a commercial point of view it could have a major impact on the seafood industry because it would allow fish to be caught in remote areas and then readily transported off to distant markets without compromising its quality.