Sea Grant Extension helps food processors think outside the … can

tuna is unloaded
Oregon's commercial fleet landed $15.2 million of albacore tuna in 2012. (Photo by Lynn Ketchum.)

Lightweight pouches improve products' quality and are free of BPA chemical
 
Oregon Sea Grant Extension at OSU is assisting businesses with packaging seafood products in flexible pouches instead of in cans. The pouches require less energy to create, improve the quality of the product and they're free of potentially harmful bisphenol A (BPA), unlike some aluminum cans.

Sea Grant helped Oregon Seafoods in Coos Bay set up a pouch-processing operation and later helped it develop a line of albacore tuna that included four flavors that were tested at OSU's Food Innovation Center in Portland. Today, the tuna is sold in more than 700 stores in several states. Similarly, Sea Grant helped The Berry Patch restaurant in Westport set up a processing facility to package its soups in pouches.

Sea Grant has also been helping the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs develop a traditional food processing facility because the tribes were losing up to 20 percent of their salmon to freezer burn each year. As part of this, tribal members traveled to OSU's Seafood Laboratory in Astoria to learn advanced preservation methods. Once built, the tribal facility could employ 18 people.

Source: Mark Whitham, a product development specialist with Oregon Sea Grant Extension; Ron Suppah, vice chairman of the Warm Springs’ tribal council; Oregon Department of Agriculture.

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