Aquatiq tackling seafood’s listeria problem

Aquatiq CEO Eirik Bugge.

Lillehammer, Norway Aquatiq has identified listeria as the seafood industry’s number-one enemy.

Aquatiq provides a suite of services to the seafood industry geared around food safety, from hygienic processing equipment, to clean-in-place systems, to software and hardware for automation, to custom turnkey project management and engineering, to cleaning systems and products, to consultation.

“We have complete food safety solutions, everything from training certification audits to electronic design,” Aquatiq CEO Eirik Bugge told SeafoodSource at the 2023 Seafood Expo Global. “We try to cover the whole value chain not just processing but from the farm or sea to retail. Our goal is to make sure that the seafood we touch is safe to eat.”

The company was founded by Bugge’s father in 1987 and is now established in 10 countries, including Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Scotland, Canada, the U.S., Chile, Australia, and New Zealand. Eirik Bugge took over in 2020 and said he has tried to stay true to his father’s vision “providing a holistic approach to food safety.”

“We try to put food processing, chemistry, cleaning systems, and training all together so that we can work with customers from any different angle and be confident we can help them produce safe food,” Bugge said.

Though Aquatiq also works with purveyors of meat, poultry, fruit, and vegetables, the seafood industry is its biggest customer.

“We like that the challenges are big in seafood. Often we’re dealing with ready-to-eat products that are eaten raw, so the standard needs to be very high,” Bugge said. “Also, it is one of the national industries in Norway, which is our home.

Aquatic recently unveiled new software to measure analytical results in the food industry, including listeria samples.

“It’s being very well-received in the industry and it ties in well to the other things we're doing as a company,” Bugge said.

This was Aquatiq’s first year exhibiting at Seafood Expo Global. Bugge said the company was seeking to raise its brand awareness and find strategic partners for expansion.

Sharing space at Aquatiq’s booth was Lillehammer-based aquaculture disease management start-up. Aqua Pharma Group, which recently announced a plan to partner with microbial fingerprinting firm Kytos to develop Seatru, a new service platform that will provide shrimp farmers with practical microbial control through precise dosing recommendations. 

Aquatiq founded in Aqua Pharma in 2010 and created a 50-50 joint venture with sustainable materials and solutions firm Solvay in 2019 to jointly manage it. According to a company announcement, Seatru is now being tested in Indonesia, with plans to make it available globally “in due time.”

“Seatru is a new concept in development for total pond health management in shrimp farming. It will provide a unique combination of microbial screening, oxygen aids, and water conditioners to help maintain a healthy environment for the shrimp,” it said on LinkedIn. “By using Seatru, farmers will be able to increase their shrimp production while minimizing the use of antibiotics and other harmful products. This not only benefits the farmers by improving their profitability but also promotes responsible farming practices to protect the environment and ensure the long-term viability of the industry.

Photo by Cliff White/SeafoodSource


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