Fish is one of the most vulnerable and perishable food items
Food safety and food quality are important issues nowadays in Europe. Therefore, it is important to keep the quality of fish-as one of the most vulnerable and perishable food items-at a high level in each link of the whole complex fishery chain in order to be able to guarantee the consumer a heal-thy, fresh and high quality end product.
Objective quality assessment
Sensory perception is the most important method for assessing freshness and quality in the fish sector and in fish inspection services. Sensory methods performed in a proper way are a rapid and accurate tool providing unique information about food. They offer immediate measurement of perceived attributes and provide information, which may be of help in forming a better understanding of consumer responses. Until now sensory methods have however been considered by many to only yield subjective assessment of quality. European fisheries research institutes have therefore developed a new tool, by which sensory assessment performed in a systematic and reliable way may be used as a truly objective quality assessment method called the Quality Index Method (QIM).
The Quality Index Method is a seafood freshness quality control system. It is a promising method in assessing the fresh-ness of fish in a rapid and reliable way. It is expected to become the leading reference method for the assessment of fresh fish within the European community in the future.