Digital SalmoFan™: Revolutionizing Salmon Fillet Color Measurement for a Transparent Seafood Industry

Salmon fillet color is not just about visual appearance; it's a key quality parameter that determines consumer satisfaction and reflects the fish's overall health. Color plays a significant role in our perception of food quality. When it comes to salmon, consumers associate vibrant colors with freshness, health, and taste. But assessing the color of salmon fillets is more challenging than it may initially seem due to a range of factors, including subjectivity, individual bias, colour blindness, surrounding light conditions, and lack of standardized protocols within the seafood industry. Today the global salmon industry has widely implemented the SalmoFan™ and SalmoFan™ Lineal to measure fillet color using the human eye. SalmoFan™ and SalmoFan™ Lineal were established over twenty-five years ago by dsm-firmenich and the measurement numbers (20 to 34) have become the referencecolor for salmonids, and recognized as the language of color across the globe. Despite the extensive level of adoption globally, SalmoFan™ and SalmoFan™ Lineal have several limitations: it is a subjective method, measurement is time-consuming and not in line with an industry trend to go digital and use large data sets for precision nutrition. SalmoFan™ and SalmoFan™ Lineal are subject to individual bias and light source, contributing to lack of accuracy and reproducibility. Measurement relies on the observer's skills, and data handling is manual, reducing accuracy and efficiency.

As a response to industry feedback, dsm-firmenich has developed the digital SalmoFan™, a groundbreaking solution that brings precision, objectivity, and efficiency to the measurement of salmon fillet color across the entire value chain.

The Challenge of Visual Assessment

The visual assessment of salmon fillet color has long been the industry standard, with the SalmoFan™ and SalmoFan™ Lineal leading the way for over 25 years. , To address the challenges of visual color measurement, a standardized approach involving a lightbox, specific protocols, and qualified observers has been implemented. However, it still falls short of achieving truly objective measurements as each person will perceive the colour differently.

Introducing digital SalmoFan™

Enter the digital SalmoFan™—a game-changer in the seafood industry. This digital innovation eliminates the shortcomings of traditional methods, providing accurate and objective color measurements at scale. With the digital SalmoFan™, the entire value chain can now monitor pigmentation seamlessly using consistent methodology , from the fish farm to the consumer's plate.

Advantages of digital SalmoFan™

Digital SalmoFan™ offers a range of benefits, making it a superior choice for salmon fillet color measurement:

  • Accuracy and Objectivity: The digital SalmoFan™ ensures precise and objective color measurements, free from individual perception biases.
  • Speed and Efficiency: Unlike traditional methods, digital SalmoFan™ operates swiftly, contributing to increased efficiency in the assessment process.
  • Portability and Ease of Use: The device is digital, portable, and user-friendly, allowing for convenient use across diverse working conditions.
  • Correlation with SalmoFan™ Numbers: Digital SalmoFan™ measurements strongly correlate with the globally accepted standard color metric—SalmoFan™ numbers.

Reducing Claims and Enhancing Transparency

One significant advantage of the digital SalmoFan™ is its ability to validate and minimize potential claims throughout the value chain. By accurately tracking fillet color from farm to market, disagreements around color discrepancies can be significantly reduced. This data-driven approach ensures that salmon flesh color is consistently maintained, ultimately leading to fewer downgrades and losses.

Digital Connectivity for Real-Time Insights

Digital SalmoFan™ goes beyond mere measurements—it connects wirelessly with smartphones and tablets, providing instant, meaningful results. The SalmoFan™ App captures low-bias data in Excel format, allowing for easy export into larger databases. The device's digital connectivity also extends to an upcoming dashboard feature, providing a deeper analysis of pigmentation performances across various sites and regions in real-time.

Innovation Roadmap

Looking ahead, digital SalmoFan™ has an exciting innovation roadmap. The development of a dashboard will enable users to delve into pigmentation performances across cages, sites, and regions, tracking changes and trends over time. This continuous innovation reaffirms dsm-firmenich's commitment to leading the industry for the next 25 years and beyond.

In conclusion, digital SalmoFan™ is not just a technological advancement; it's a transformative tool that ensures the salmon industry remains at the forefront of precision, transparency, and sustainability. As we are embracing the digital era, the language of color is now spoken anytime, anyplace—with digital SalmoFan™ paving the way for a brighter future in salmon fillet color measurement.

Published on

05 December 2023


  • Aquaculture
  • Fish
  • Salmon

About the Authors

Louise Buttle - Key Accounts Aqua Global, Animal Nutrition & Health at dsm-firmenich

Louise holds a PhD obtained at the University of Hull, UK. She has over two decades of industry experience in aquaculture, much of this time with EWOS and Cargill in the salmon farming countries; Scotland, Chile, and Norway. Louise held various positions in R&D, product development, innovation, and sustainability. She joined dsm-firmenich in May 2019 and is committed to delivering solutions supporting the further development of sustainable aquaculture.

Fabio Cervellione - Director of Nutrition & Health Solution Aqua Global at G.O. Johnsen AS

Fabio is a Director of Nutrition & Health Solution Aqua Global at G.O. Johnsen AS, which markets dsm-firmenich Nutritional Products.

He holds a veterinary degree obtained at the University of Milan, MSc in Aquatic Veterinary Studies at Stirling University, and a PhD in veterinary medicine at Ghent University.

Fabio has more than 15 years of experience in the aquaculture industry, through different local and global roles in technical service, sales, R&D, and marketing.


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