Seafood Quality and Safety

NAME OF THE COURSE Seafood Quality and Safety



Year of study


Course teacher

Asst Prof Vida Šimat

Credits (ECTS)


Associate teachers

Type of instruction (number of hours)






Status of the course


Percentage of application of e-learning

0 %


Course objectives

Seafood is a high-value food group and an important part of the human diet. Due to its chemical composition seafood falls into easily perishable foods. In the last 20 years there is an increase of infections caused foods and marine origin food poisoning are very common. The presence of biological (bacteria, viruses, parasites) and chemical (residues, biotoxins) hazards in fish and other marine organisms is very difficult to control since they are present in the their natural habitat, thus these organisms presents a risk to consumers and require a control through analytical methods for the detection parameters quality in seafood. This course deals with the quality parameters in seafood. In addition to introducing quality parameters and their role in the quality and food safety, particular attention will be paid to the understanding of the overall functioning of the distribution chain in the food industry. The emphasis of the course is to understand the factors that affect the safety of fishery products, recognition of quality parameters as well as knowledge of the principles and analytical procedures in assessing the quality and safety of fishery products.

Course enrolment requirements and entry competences required for the course

Competence in applying knowledge of inorganic and organic chemistry and microbiology and biochemistry.
Passed exam in Seafood processing technology.

Learning outcomes expected at the level of the course (4 to 10 learning outcomes)

Upon completion of the course and passing the exam, students will be able to:
- assess the seafood related hazards that pose a risk to consumers.
- recognize and analytically determine specific quality parameters for a particular seafood product.
- identify risks of a certain products based on the characteristics of the products (NaCl, aw, pH, temperature).
- determine the shelf life of a specific product using relevant sensory, microbiological, biochemical and chemical methods.
- assess the risks in the supply chain of fishery products.

Course content broken down in detail by weekly class schedule (syllabus)

1st week: Trends and problems in the seafood production, the concept of food quality.
2nd week: Spoilage of seafood.
3rd week: Postmortem changes in fish.
4th week: Postmortem changes in fish - continued.
5th week: Freshness degradation and freshness parameters.
6th week: Bacterial degradation of fish.
7th week: Sensory evaluation of fish quality.
8th week: Chemical indicators of freshness and spoilage of fish.
9th week: Volatile amines.
10th week: Biogenic amines.
11th week: Histamine.
12th week: Changes in lipids, lipid deterioration.
13th week: Changes in physical properties of fish meat.
14th week: Bioresiduals and preservatives in fishery products.
15th week: Practical application and usage of quality parameters in practice, risk assessment.
Sensory evaluation of seafood. Distillation method for determining the quantity of TVB-N and TMA-N. Measuring the pH of fish meat, dielectric properties and texture during storage of different species of fish in various storage conditions. Determination of NaCl share in various fishery products. Visit to the Laboratory for quality control of animal origin, Veterinary Institute in Split. Determination of histamine. Measurement of the lipids oxidation parameters during processing and / or storage of seafood, determining the secondary products of lipid oxidation eg. malondialdehyde (MDA), thiobarbituric acid assay / or TBARS TBK. Introducing quality parameters of fish oil. Determination of anisidine value, peroxide value, acidic value and TBARS test for fish oil.

Format of instruction:

Student responsibilities

Students are required to attend classes (lectures and exercises), actively participate in the teaching process and pass the exam (or 2 tests). The presence at lectures will be recorded, and absence needs to be justified. One hundred percent presence in class will be rewarded with 2 extra points at the test.

Screening student work (name the proportion of ECTS credits for eachactivity so that the total number of ECTS credits is equal to the ECTS value of the course):

Class attendance




Practical training


Experimental work








Seminar essay






Oral exam




Written exam






Grading and evaluating student work in class and at the final exam

The class materials are divided into two parts. Students pass the exam separately through two written tests, each carrying 50 points, consisting of materials given in both lectures and exercises. For one part to be considered passed it is necessary to achieve at least 60% score. If a student repeatedly outputs on individual examination, the result will be taken as an average of all previously achieved results (example: first date on Exam A: 15 points (33.3%), the second taking the Exam A: 30 points (66.7% ); result of examination: (15 + 30) / 2 = 22.5 points (50%)). At the end of the semester, if the student is satisfied with the grade, it will be entered in the index; otherwise, student can take an oral exam for a higher grade.
The final score will be determined according to the criteria: <60% - insufficient, 60% - 70% - sufficient, 71 - 80% - good, 81 - 90% - very good, 91 - 100% - excellent.
Additional points (maximum 2) a student can achieve if they show a high degree of interest in the subject, if they are always prepared; if they ask questions and actively participate in discussions, meet all field tasks ect.
The requirements for a signature: Class attendance 80% and exercise attendance 100%.

Required literature (available in the library and via other media)


Number of copies in the library

Availability via other media

J. B. Luten, T. Borresen, J. Oehlenschlager: Seafoodfromproducer to consumer, Integrated approach to quality, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1997.



H. A. Bremner: Safety and quality issues in Fish Processing, CRC Press, Inc. Boca Raton, Florida, SAD, 2002.



T. Borresen: Improving sea food products for the consumer, Woodhead Publishing Ltd., Cambridge, England, 2008.



I. Martinez, D. James, H. Loreal: Application of modern analytical techniques to ensure sea food safety and authenticity, FAO, Rome, Italy, 2005.



J. Havranek, M. Tudor Kalit, R. Bažok, J. Đugum, D. Grbeša, M. Hadžiosmanović, A. Ivanković, I. Jakopović, S. Orešković, V. Rupić, D. Samaržija: Sigurnost hrane od polja do stola, M.E.P. d.o.o., Zagreb, 2014.



Optional literature (at the time of submission of study programme proposal)

Methods of Analysis of AOAC International, 2000.
S. Duraković: Moderna mikrobiologija namirnica, Udžbenici Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, Zagreb, 2002.
F. M. Garfield: Quality Assurence for Analytical Laboratories, AOAC International, Gaithersburg, Md., 2000.
S. E. Mortimer, C. A. Wallace, C. A. Cassianos: HACCP, Blackwell Science, Oxford, 2001.
V. Turčić: HACCP i higijena namirnica, Zagreb, 2000.
M. J. Juran: Planiranje i analiza kvalitete: od razvoja proizvoda do upotrebe 3. izd., Mate, Zagreb, 1999.
B. Petz: Osnove statističke metode za nematematičare, 3. izd., Naklada Slap, 1997.

Quality assurance methods that ensure the acquisition of exit competences

Quality assurance will be performed at three levels:
(1) University Level;
(2) Faculty Level by Quality Control Committee;
(3) Lecturer’s Level.

Other (as the proposer wishes to add)