Seafood Postharvest Science

We develop new techniques and tools to optimise yields and quality for seafood products.

We bring our understanding of pre- and postharvest physiology, biochemistry and the chemical composition of fin fish and shellfish to developing technologies for succulent seafood products.

Plant & Food Research works alongside seafood industries to optimise yield and taste qualities and to develop new technologies and products that meet demands to protect the future of the fisheries. Our facilities include:

  • More than 15 live handling seawater fish tanks, ranging from 1000 to 10,000 litres
  • A large processing room
  • A fish respirometry system
  • Computer image analysis
  • A large microbiology laboratory operating at Physical Containment Level 2 (PC2)
  • A two-litre high pressure processing unit (in collaboration with The University of Auckland).

Our knowledge of microbiology, particularly spoilage bacteria and the prevalence and growth of pathogenic bacteria, is used to enhance and develop techniques to extend shelf life and to ensure products are safe and appealing to consumers. We have experience in a range of preservation technologies including:

  • Cleaners and sanitisers
  • Traditional thermal processing and refrigerated storage
  • High pressure processing
  • Modified atmosphere packaging
  • Soluble gas stabilisation
  • Bio-preservation
  • Natural antimicrobials
  • Antimicrobial packaging.
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