The main objective of the project is to increase food safety in order to avoid future outbreaks of pathogenic bacteria in the production of rakfisk.

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01. Apr 2021


31. Dec 2024

Funded by

The Research Council of Norway


Wangensten AS, Haadem Fisk, Noraker gård, Trøsvik gård, Røn gard, Sæterstad gård, Veterinærinstituttet, Decon-X

Project Manager(s):

Lars Axelsson

Rakfisk is a popular and traditional product that is unique to Norway. For many people, it is an indispensable part of the food that is eaten around the Christmas holidays. 

Rakfisk is trout or Arctic char that matures in brine over several months at low temperature. This gives the fish a characteristic taste. 

Rakfisk faces significant challenges when it comes to food safety. Process hygiene and carefully followed routines are therefore necessary in the production of rakfisk. In recent years, however, there have been several listeriosis outbreaks caused by the Listeria monocytogenes bacterium, which has put the rakfisk industry under great pressure. 

The industry therefore has a great need for new knowledge and technology in order to make rakfisk a safer product. 

How we work

TryggRakfisk is a project in which some of the largest rakfisk producers collaborate with the research institutes Nofima and the Norwegian Veterinary Institute. The main goal is to improve food safety in order to avoid future outbreaks of pathogenic bacteria. 

To achieve this, we will map routines and processes in the rakfisk industry, test new technologies and new recipes that remove or inhibit unwanted microorganisms, evaluate the sensory quality of products produced using new technologies and recipes, develop better sampling strategies, and also investigate consumer attitudes to rakfisk as a product and to the possible use of new production technology.

In the first year of the project, the focus will be on mapping production at rakfisk producers. Historical data and sampling will be important in establishing a starting point in a risk model. 

We will start testing new technologies that inhibit and kill unwanted bacteria in model systems. The model systems will also be used to look at the effect of the various technologies on certain taste characteristics. As a result, we will be able to focus on the most promising measures later in the project when production will take place on a larger scale and at the producers’ facilities.

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