The Clean Technology Centre along with Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) has joined a multi-country Interreg North West Europe Programme project called Food Heroes (Improving resource efficiency through designing innovative solutions to reduce food waste).

Since 2010 CTC has been working with BIM to improve the sustainability of the fish processing sector in Ireland.

In The Food Heroes Project, BIM and CTC will address inefficiencies in the seafood sector, specifically whitefish filleting. The typical filleted yield of whitefish is 40-45%. Of the remainder ~15 – 20% is fish meat remaining on the bone.

Presently, this meat is processed for low value products including fish meal and pet food. If it were removed from the carcass it could be used to make value added products for human consumption.

In 2014 it is estimated that ~11,000 tonnes of whitefish was processed in Ireland leaving a potential 2,000 tonnes of fish meat on the bone which could be recovered and used in value added products. Current meat recovery system that exist are problematic, particularly in relation to the quality and shelf-life of the recovered meat. In this project we aim to develop a recovery system more suited to producing a higher quality raw material for value added product development.

The project is led by Zuidelijke Land- en Tuinbouw organisatie from the Netherlands and has partners from the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, France and Germany.

Within the project, a Food Heroes Award contest was set up, including 76 food waste prevention best-practice solutions.

There were three main categories winners in three different categories: