Session 1:
Value creation from pelagic and demersal fisheries (Industry Session)


Title: Rigor mortis and seafood quality 


Flemming Jessen (WEFTA Award  winner 2018)

Description/ overview:

Rigor mortis has an important influence on seafood quality! This statement seems to reflect a common understanding within the seafood area among industries as well as researchers. There is a huge literature on this subject investigating and explaining characteristics of the rigor mortis phenomenon as responsible for different quality aspects. In this way it seems to be a very well investigated area, but what do we really know about rigor mortis in fish and is it enough? Is rigor mortis actually itself a quality parameter with direct causal influence on quality or is it just a measurable correlating phenomenon that we bring in when we have no other explanations? Could new knowledge about rigor mortis help us maintaining the highest product quality even better than what is possible today? Answering these and other questions will be attempted.


Flemming Jessen is Senior Researcher at the Technical University of Denmark, DTU Food, and got his PhD in biology from University of Copenhagen in 1988. He has carried out research within post mortem biochemistry in the seafood area for more than 25 years with focus on quality and proteins, striving to understand the relationship between raw material properties and product quality in dependency of ante-mortem aspects (swimming, stress and feed composition), industrial processing and storage conditions. A main purpose has been to discover protein biomarkers (multiple) for process control and quality prediction for which studies on formation, function and changes of proteins as well as enzymatic degradation of protein structures have been central.  Other substantial subjects have been rigor mortis, thaw rigor, water-holding capacity and frozen storage.
Flemming Jessen has worked with species as cod, herring, rainbow trout, salmon and shrimp. He has considerable experience in protein separation techniques particularly in two-dimensional gel electrophoresis for proteomics, image analysis and multivariate data handling. He has published about 75 papers in international peer reviewed journals, written 5 book chapters and supervised numerous BSc and MSc students, 13 PhD students and 5 postdocs.

Institute/ organisation:

DTU Food (National Food Institute at the Technical University of Denmark) researches and communicates sustainable and value-adding solutions in the area of food and health for the benefit of society and industry. The vision is that DTU Food creates welfare for the future through research into food and health, and makes a difference by producing knowledge and technical solutions