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KingCrab-NIR : Development of instrument to measure meat content in King Crab

Alternative title: Kongekrabbe-NIR : Utvikling av instrument for måling av kjøttfylde i kongekrabbeb

Awarded: NOK 0.50 mill.

Red king crab is one of the most widely distributed and best known of all king crabs. In Norway, we have extensive fisheries in the coastal waters of Finnmark county. The edible meat of the crab is in the legs and claws. The meat content is ranged as the single most important quality property among consumers. However, the meat content varies with moulting season, access to feed, crab density, time and location of capture. Varying meat content gives challenges along the whole value chain. Fishermen get lower prices for low meat content, the industry must adjust and optimise processing according to the meat content, and low meat content results in reclamations from demanding customers worldwide. A major challenge for the trade is that there exist no objective and effective method to measure the meat content in the crab legs. This is today done manually by palpation, which is inaccurate, subjective and requires much experience. We have discovered that it is possible to determine meat content in the crabs with an optical method. The method is rapid (1 sec per measurement), non-destructive (can be used on intact and live crabs) and objective. A prototype system has been tested with very promising results. The king crab industry is very interested in such a system and pushes for the development of a commercial system. Market opportunities are interesting but there is a need to clarify both potentials and risks connected to a possible further development and commercialisation. In this project the prototype instrument will be tested under realistic industrial conditions. We will do experiments to get better insight in the measurement principle. Furthermore, we will assess market opportunities, obtain cost-benefit analyses and clarify intellectual property rights.