Optimizing Ingredients

Masking the Big Smell of Nutritious Little Fish

Sardines were a popular fish among ancestors because they were rich in calcium, lecithin and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). But today, consumers shy away from sardines because of their offensive odor.

So imagine our surprise at Maxx Performance when we recently received an inquiry from an overseas government official with just such a fishy challenge. They had a bounty of sardines and wanted to manufacture and distribute fish meal for use in their school lunch programs, but couldn’t find a solution to the off odor, along with the additional problem of rapid spoilage.

After careful deliberation, we decided to take on the project. As it turned out, one of our staff members had done a Ph.D. thesis on the use of fish and crab waste as a nutrition supplement. We knew that the odor and spoilage issues were due to its trimethylamine content, and that we needed to prevent its release. We also knew how to prevent it. So we formulated a prototype.

After our first run, the plant smelled of sardines but the fishy odor was entirely gone from the product. Even the customer remarked that the initial prototype well met the established project definition—that the microencapsulated fish meal we provided was stable, there was no rancidity, and when it was premixed with powdered soups and creams and then prepared with boiling water, no fishy odor or taste appeared.

Once again—this time, with help from an expert team member – Maxx was able to solve an age-old problem and help one country bring better nutrition into its schools.

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