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Development and apparatus implementing a method for rapidly and already ends freezing and defrosting fish with the use of sound waves and aerosol humidification for high quality fish.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FRISH (Development and apparatus implementing a method for rapidly and already ends freezing and defrosting fish with the use of sound waves and aerosol humidification for high quality fish.)

Reporting period: 2017-02-01 to 2017-07-31

Global consumption of seafood is increasing (Figure 1). Certain issues related to fish nutrition have become controversial because they impact the environment and/or affect the final product for consumption. Some of these issues include: feed and nutrient efficiency, overfeeding and waste, fish health issues and human health concerns. Our F®ISH technology system can make a major impact in the provision of safe and high quality fish and seafood in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Our F®ISH technology, aims to considerably improve the quality of frozen fish and seafood contributing in the reduction of fish waste generated from production to retailing and at the same time, saving space, lowering costs and primarily, ensuring food safety, preserving fish original properties and nutritional value for the end consumers.
There is an enormous market potential for climatic chambers with the incorporated F®ISH Technology (Figure 2) in Europe, offering unique advantages compared to competing solutions. The implementation of the technological development needs and improvement potentials that have been identified are feasible and the finalisation of a marketable product is possible. Therefore, it was decided to continue with the project in order to reach the following general objectives:
• Market introduction of a climatic chamber with F®ISH technology incorporated for rapidly and already ending the freezing and defrosting process of fish with the use of sound waves and aerosol humidification for high quality fish.
• Achievement of significant cost savings and increasing the frozen fish quality, by strengthening the competitiveness of European fish industry, enabling the introduction of the F®ISH system as an eco-efficient, low cost, innovative technology in the European fish sector.
• To adapt freezing/defrosting applications to the actual demand and thereby improving the quality of fish and reducing the amount of fish waste produced, saving costs as well as reducing the process time.
• Creation of new jobs and income opportunities due to the competitiveness strengthening by an increased turnover as a result of less waste production and higher fish quality
• Achievement of market leadership of our company in the field of refrigeration technology with significantly increased turnover, profit and employment
• Reduction of the environmental impact due to a lower energy input demand and fish waste production
• Saving of finite natural fish and seafood resources
F®ISH development has been achieved thanks to several previous national and international R&D projects funded by important organizations:
1. “Defrosting” in 2010 funded by ZIM, in Germany in cooperation with ttz Bremerhaven and Enterprise Systems GmbH. Documentation and literature research was perfored, a small laboratory prototype was built and experiments to analyse different parameters were realized.
2. “FreezeThaw” in 2013 funded by FP7 for SME. Some pilot plant chambers were built and were proven for different frozen products such as fish, vegetables and meat.

F®ISH has been already tested at the small scale, confirming the high potential of the product concerning time and energy efficiency and fish quality.

Ungermann has experience not only in the development of new refrigeration technology but also, in its commercialization. It has already interested investors specifically for F®ISH project with fish suppliers, restaurants, supermarkets, and SMEs comprising refrigeration equipment suppliers, among others. For example Deutsche See Gmbh, and FRosTA AG. The F®ISH technology will revolutionize the fish industry not only in technological aspects (aerosol humidification and ultrasound technology), but it will also take care of environmental issues (reduction of energy and wastes) turning the fishing sector into a more sustainable activity. Thus, F®ISH is ready for commercialisation. Minor technological adjustments need to be made according to the context of production (e.g. size of the chamber, frequency and intensity of the ultrasound waves for different quantities and types of fish). In the first application (September 2016), the concept was evaluated as a high quality project proposal and obtained the “SEAL OF EXCELLENCE”. All critical points have been addressed and improved for this application.

- Positioning of F®ISH in term of business innovation, Technological Readiness Level
A first technical prototype of the high-efficient and high quality defrosting system F®ISH has been built and its proper functioning has been demonstrated at the laboratory and technical scale during past projects. The current Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of the system is 6. In order to bring the system successfully to the market, improved prototypes need to be built and demonstrated in long-term tests and in different environments, as well as in the whole fish trajectory (from freezing to the distributors, supermarkets and end consumers) before the final completion and qualification of the system in operational environment. The existing prototype has to be validated by several technological measures and has to be set for optimal operational parameters like intensity and frequency of the ultrasound equipment. Additionally, parameters for the quality of the fish should be validated as for example: volume loss, taste, freshness, optical test, etc. It is expected to bring F®ISH to TRL8 or TRL9 at the end of the project.

During the period covered by this report, F®ISH technical and economic feasibility was confirmed and the results obtained in Stage 1 are promising: There is an enormous market potential for the climatic chambers in Europe and it offers unique advantages compared to competing solutions, thus, being superior to them. The implementation of the adjustments that have been identified are feasible and the finalization of a marketable product is possible.
Compared to the state of the art, F®ISH will provide advantages to the European fish market of all types and sizes, as the successful realization of it will enable fish processing companies to overcome the freezing and defrosting difficulties with a low energy-demand production process and thus, to increase its quality, productivity, resource efficiency, compliance and competitiveness in the fish industry. The potential shortening of the production process, with a high quality in fish are the most relevant arguments from a commercial point of view allowing F®ISH’s customers to increase their value for money thanks to shorter production times, lower investment equipment costs, lower space needed in the plant and reduced energy costs.

The proposed F®ISH will solve the problems linked to freezing and defrosting processing of fish by providing following benefits:
• Lower energy input for the freezing/defrosting of fish (70% less) leading to lower energy costs and lower carbon footprint.
• Flexibility in the process: F®ISH can be used either for freezing and defrosting, or for both.
• Food Security: F®ISH will avoid the decay or damage of fish and sea products, which will assure food security and reduce fish wastes.
• For different quantities: F®ISH can be used for different amounts of fish. It functions in large amounts but it can be used for small fish enterprises as well.
• Sanitization: the new technology avoids the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms on the surface of the fish.
• High fish quality: previous experiments have shown that the properties of fish after freezing/defrosting with the technology stay constant: texture, flavour, colour, water content, etc.
• Reduction of time: Test studies have demonstrated that with the combination of aerosol and ultrasound technologies as in F®ISH, time can be reduced up to 80%.

F®ISH’s commercialization will generate high revenues in the targeted market segment and in the long run, will extend further its activities to a global scale resulting in an establishment of a leading market position in the fish market. Besides, economic benefits will be achieved for clients of F®ISH technology, which are on the one hand based on substantial cost savings and, on the other hand, based on increased sales due to the higher freshness achieved (higher consumer satisfaction). Cost savings can be attributed to the various environmental benefits of the F®ISH technology:

• Reduction of food wastage (35% less waste): Reduction of food waste will subsequently result in reduced bio-waste disposal costs. For an average supermarket bio-waste disposal costs lie in a magnitude of 7,000 and 15,000 € per year.
• Reduction of total volume of fish required: By reducing the wastage of fish the total amount needed to cover the demand in the EU, will be reduced as well. This equals substantial savings in resources, including water, land, energy, labour and capital. F®ISH will reduce greenhouse gases and global warming.
World Fish consumption (Kg/person/year)
FRISH technology USK chamber with aerosol humidifier and integrated Air-Born Ultrasound transducer