Seafood Assessment Course a Success
The second week-long
Advanced Seafood Quality Assessment Course closed last week to the
opinion that it had been a resounding success.
in the seafood industry will appreciate the great variety in seafood
quality that is available throughout the seafood chain, and the
purpose of this course is to provide the tools to accurately and
consistently assess the quality of fish in both raw and cooked states.
The course provided
each of the participants with an opportunity to learn about the
theory and practice of applying both Torry freshness scoring system
and Quality Index Method (QIM) assessment methods to the assessment
of quality of cod, plaice and salmon. With more than 70 whole fish
and fish samples to assess, the participants were able to improve
their skills and will be able to apply their new knowledge upon
their return to the workplace.
As with the previous
course, the emphasis is on the practical assessment of fish quality.
Scattered throughout the week-long course are sessions on the theory
of TORRY and QIM, and lessons on setting up teams and developing
new assessment schemes. The most important skill which the participants
learn is to gauge and assess the look and odour of fish gills, fish
eyes, slime and the texture of fish flesh.
The course begins
with a theory day, with a thorough introduction to the principles
of both the Torry assessment schemes and QIM. Participants take
part in a taste calibration practical to assess individual sensitivity
to flavours and there is a short practical session looking at fish
The second day
starts with a short refresher session on the assessment of cod quality
before the participants spend the rest of the day working in groups
and individually handling and assessing a number of cod samples,
comparing their results with those of the trainer and their colleagues.
Gradually, through the day, their results become more consistent
as the constant practice starts to pay off.
The third day
follows the same process with plaice replacing cod. Plaice samples
ranging from very fresh to the wrong side of acceptable are viewed,
prodded and sniffed at until everyone is confident that they can
distinguish between a TORRY 8 plaice and one scoring seven on the
ten point scale.
fourth day took a departure from the previous course and at the
request of the group from M&J Seafoods, farmed salmon was introduced
as an assessed species in the place of mackerel and herring. The
afternoon provided an opportunity to assess the cooked quality of
a range of cod, plaice and smoked fish samples bought from three
local supermarket fish counters that morning.
The course finishes
at lunchtime of the final day and provides an opportunity to look
at developing new assessment schemes, reviewing the overall course
and presenting the Advanced Seafood Quality Assessment certificates
that each participant earned during the week.
The final session
of the course is called ‘Next Steps’ and explores what the participants
can do with their new understanding and experience. The two main
opportunities presented by the course are a becoming a quality assessment
trainer and implementing more effective quality assessments systems
From the feedback
received at the end of this course, it seems that both of these
opportunities are attractive to the participants and the course
may well lead to seafood quality assessment training being delivered
to staff at M&J Seafoods in the near future.
The course, delivered
by Seafish at Fishgate Fishmarket in Hull, was attended by a team
of regional and technical managers from M&J Seafoods and by
Adam Fanthorpe of North Quay Seafoods, Grimsby.
This is the second advanced course funded by an EU (FIFG) grant.
A third course is scheduled for 14 April 2008 and will be delivered
at Billingsgate Seafood Training School in London.