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Game-, Reindeer- and AquaFood Research Program – GRAF :
» Consumer needs and expectations in the global markets
» Healthy, tasty, and high-quality food products
» Diverse and sustainable food production
» Changes in livelihoods and business sector competitiveness
» Projects 
  •Developing Reindeer husbandry and Reindeer meat market
  •Markets for products of captive fisheries
  •BENEFISH – the economic impact of the welfare of fish in European fish farming
  •Development of fish product quality research
  •Effects of live-chilling on product quality
  •Regulating the sexual maturity of rainbow trout in food fish production
  •Improving fish quality
  •The quality of European whitefish in the supply chain
  •Electric stunning of vendace
  •Action plan for sustainable aquaculture in Åland
  •Effects of location guidance on the fish farming economy
  •Environmental investment in fish farming
  •Diversifying aquaculture
  •Research on the selective breeding of whitefish
  •Research on production biology
  •New wave
  •Software for assessing the profitability of fish farming
  •Economic success factors of the reindeer husbandry  
  •Fish Consumption and the Catering Sector 
  •Utilization of less-valuable fish material in food, feed and bioenergy

Effects of live-chilling on product quality

Effective chilling of the fish is crucial in terms of high product quality and shelf life. Chilling is usually carried out after gutting, when the fish are packed. However, the poikilothermy of fish, i.e. their body temperature dependence on the surrounding water, provides another option for chilling and that is live-chilling. Live-chilling could decrease the variation in slaughter quality caused by water temperature and seasonal changes.

The goal of the project

The goal was to evaluate the feasibility of chilling live fish in Finland, especially during the warm season. The project was divided into three sub-projects: building a recirculation chilling system, culturing and catching the fish material and running slaughtering experiments, in which the effects of live-chilling on rigor mortis (stiffness after death), stress and product quality were assessed in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), European whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus) and perch (Perca fluviatilis)

Photo: Susanna Airaksinen


A chilling temperature that was too low induced stress in rainbow trout and perch. Finding the right species-specific chilling temperature is essential for optimising the positive effects of chilling among different fish species. Results suggest that the mechanisms affecting quality interact and that temperature, stress responses and the metabolism of the fish are all involved.

Scientist in charge of project

Kari Ruohonen
Turku Game and Fisheries Research
Itäinen Pitkäkatu 3
FI-20520 Turku, Finland
Phone +35820 575 1681

Other research staff: Susanna Airaksinen, Tarja Aro, Markku Vaajala

Duration: 2003–2004

Text version

Jaa Jaa

© Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute.Modified 2009-7-6