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IPIMAR, Portugal
New methods for quality and safety

The Portuguese Institute of Sea and Fisheries (INIAP/IPIMAR) is an unit of the Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e das Pescas (INIAP), a governmental research institution constituted by two units –agro/rural (INIA) and fisheries (IPIMAR).

IPIMAR is dedicated to research, technological development, experimentation and dissemination activities on fisheries and aquaculture, and to provide advice on sustainable exploitation of marine resources as well as on production, upgrading and processing of high quality seafood and seafood products. INIAP/IPIMAR acts as counselor to national authorities on Fisheries, the fishing industry and fishery organizations and is member of national and international commissions.

The institution has approximately 250 employees and a budget of 13 million euros, of which 7 million euros is governmental funding and 6 million euros is external funding. IPIMAR is composed by seven departments.

The Department of Technological Innovation and Valorization of Fisheries Products (DITVPP) of IPIMAR has around 40 employees, of which 20 have scientific education and been dealing with pre-competitive research and experimental development on fish handling, processing, quality monitoring and quality assurance. The support to fisherman and fish industry by preparing technical advises, technological tests and know-how transfer is another area of activity of this Department. Over the last years the Department has been engaged in the development of several research projects in the frame of EC programs (FAR, AIR and STD3), of national research agency program (STRIDE) and within the collaboration with overseas countries of Portuguese oral expression. The DITVPP is responsible for investigations on fish as food and all other kinds of utilisation of resources harvested through traditional fisheries and aquaculture. This includes seafood preservation, processing and a better utilisation of fractions currently characterised as by-products.

The department has also a deep expertise concerning the improvement and development of new analytical tools for seafood quality and safety, being today the national reference laboratory for bivalve mollusc microbiological quality and for chemical contaminants in farmed fish species. Additionally, the laboratories of DITVPP are accredited for several chemical and microbiological methodologies. The activities are commodity oriented food research taking up the whole value chain of fish and other aquatic organisms from catch/slaughter through all steps of handling, processing and distribution until the product is being prepared for consumption.