February 5, 2020
In 2017 we released a piece on St.FX chemistry professor, Dr. Shah Razul’s research to make frozen lobster taste better.
After being disappointed by the sub-par quality of frozen lobster Dr. Razul took home to share with this family, the chemistry professor had the thought that many innovators often do: ‘there has to be a better way’.
This set the professor off on a journey to develop a new freezing method that would make frozen food products, in this case lobster, taste fresh for longer.
When we last reported on Dr. Razul’s work he was gearing up for a year and a half long study with the public to ensure his innovation passed the most important test of all – the taste test.
That project, which was funded through Springboard's Innovation Mobilization Program, Proof of Concept Fund and done in collaboration with researchers at Acadia University’s Centre for the Sensory Research of Food, has since ended and with excellent results.
And according to this recent CBC article, his innovation is working.
Their research produced what’s called a Seafood Preservation System (SPS). The system has been proven to extended shelf life, improve taste and texture and reduces or eliminates of drip-loss and cook-loss. The SPS is well developed for lobster, where naturally occurring compounds found in lobster are concentrated and re-introduced to raw and cooked lobster prior to freezing.
This technique, which was aided using a super-computer, improves on the current industry standard which preserves the meat in brine. But because the way water freezes, the meat tissues are destroyed once frozen, causing things like freezer burn. The system is currently being tested with an unnamed lobster producer.
The researchers are now saying that, theoretically, the technology could be applied to other seafoods.
St.FX Springboard member, Andrew Kendall, elaborates on this saying:
“We’re hoping to expand this to other seafoods like crabs, shrimp, mussels and oysters. This also has major implications for the freezing of human tissue. So now he’s working with one of our human kinetics experts and they’re in the early stages of looking at how this can be applied to human tissue, organs and human muscle”.
We at Springboard are thrilled to see how this project has moved forward and the potential Dr. Razul’s innovation has for new industries!