By April Forristall, SeafoodSource.com assistant editor
Published on 04 May, 2011
The 19th annual European Seafood Exposition, which closed on Thursday, went off without a hitch this week. The SeafoodSource editorial team was onsite in Brussels, Belgium, reporting from the aisles of the show floor. And we weren’t the only ones. Approximately 120 major news outlets from across Europe and the world took notice of the three-day event. Among the outlets represented were French TV station France 3, French newspaper La Voix du Nord, The Scotsman, China Economic Daily and Belgium’s La Capitale.
Here are a few other tidbits picked up while scouring the show floor on Thursday:
• Nofima launched a free iPhone application that helps fishmongers and others determine how fresh a batch of fish is. The quality of the fish can be evaluated in a few steps, including odor, texture and the appearance of the eyes, skin and gills. The “How Fresh is Your Fish?” app is available in 11 languages and based on the Quality Index Method. Currently, salmon, cod and plaice may be checked using the app, but it will be expanded to include haddock, redfish, shrimp and saithe. Terje Martinussen, managing director of the Norwegian Seafood Export Council, was the first person to test the app when it was launched at the show on Wednesday.
“With the aid of competent seafood research, we have a good basis for being the leading seafood nation in the world. We can increase the export value first and foremost through innovation and development. This app is a good example of applied research,” said Martinussen.
• In a brief ceremony on Thursday, GlobalGAP singed a cooperation agreement with Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. It occurred after an information seminar hosted by the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, along with Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade and Vietnam’s Embassy in the EU.
• On Wednesday, Seafood Choices held a reception to present Seafood Champion Awards to chefs Olivier Roellinger of Relais & Chatueax in France and Peter Weeden of Paternoster Chop House in the UK. “It is an honor for me to receive this Seafood Champion Award,” said Roellinger. “The sea is the pantry of humanity. We forget that it is fragile and not an inexhaustible resource. This recognition rewards the appeal made in 2009 to all of our colleagues throughout the world to recognize the major role that we all can play in the preservation of resources, as key advisors on the choice of species that we buy, prepare and serve.”
• First-time exhibitor and new company BK Salmon, part of Poland-based BK Foods, said it chose to exhibit because there is no better occasion to display its new seafood products to potential clients.
“It has been quite nice,” said BK Foods’ Ivan Pasyuk. “Our expectations at the moment are fulfilled because there’s a lot of interest in our stand, and we’ve had a lot of meetings, a lot of clients.”
• Italian frozen seafood producer Arbi Dario launched barcodes on its packaging that can be scanned by any smart phone, which allows customers to view video clips of cooking demonstrations on how to prepare the product. Alessandro Arbi said the aim of the barcodes is to market their products to a younger audience. Arbi said the new communication tool will draw in younger consumers who carry their smart phones with them everywhere.
• Viciunai Group is looking to open a new market for surimi — kids. The Lithuania-based company is using a cartoon dinosaur on its new surimi sausages to make the product more appealing to children. Retailing for less than GBP 1, the cheese-tasting surimi will trial in the UK at Waitrose, and, if all goes well, the use of Dino the Dinosaur will be expanded to the company’s other products.