Research partnership involves PUCRS, PUC-Lima, Rosoma and German government
All over the world, the fish industry is faced with challenges associated with food safety, job security and economic development. Whereas Brazil and Peru have the largest fishing industries in the world, Germany is one of the main provider of technologies for processing fish and seafood. With that in mind, Project Rosoma brought together the academias of Brazil, Peru and Germany to sponsor good international practices in the careful fish processing.
Since 2017, PUCRS has been a scientific partner to this project, which was conceived by the mechanical engineering and industrial automation company Rosoma, from Rostock, Germany. The project entitled Responsible and efficient use of fish and seafood and their safe processing in food industry is also partly sponsored by the German government through the DEG/KfW Banco de Desenvolvimento and is being developed in partnership with the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, in Lima.
Sustainable use and innovation in fish processing
Project Rosoma involves the School of Sciences’ undergraduate program in Food Science and Innovation and calls for the use of technologies and innovation strategies in fish processing. Dr Marcus Seferin, coordinator of the project at PUCRS, claims that the idea has been conceived for the University to learn about the challenges of sustainability from the German company. This will generate innovation in food for the final consumer market and transfer the new insights into hygiene standards and workplace safety in industries.
In Seferin’s view, this area has great potential for development in the country, and will make it possible for students to put classroom theories into practice in the Brazilian industry. “We have looked at the entire sector’s productive chain and identified the areas that need technological advances for us to have a sustainable use and thus, improve our sustainability standards”, says he. The program’s students have thought up different ideas to bring the actions in the area to a higher level of quality.
The project also includes workshops for students, knowledge exchanges between the German and Brazilian companies, which would facilitate academic mobility and a partnership for future international projects involving the University of Rostock.
Contribution with local producers
In April this year, PUCRS welcomed authorities from the Municipal Government of Rio Grande do discuss its insertion into the Rosoma Project. Dr Maria Elisabete Haase-Möllmann, PUCRS’ New Business and Innovation Specialist, claims that the meeting was intended to think up strategies to foster innovation in the productive chain of fish in this region and to bring the traditional fishing activities to a higher level of professionalism.
The Food Science and Innovation program is expected to make a contribution for the producers in Rio Grande and the nearby region to have access to a tutorial developed to professionalize the designing and submission of labeling done by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (Mapa). “This expertise got us to conceive an unprecedented project with the Municipal Government of Rio Grande. Its agents have requested a cooperation agreement and an estimate to make the contribution of PUCRS possible”, says Maria Elisabete.
Producers are concerned about bringing local and organic product to the market and this would empower them to offer their products, in a professional and commercially-appealing way. “This increases the security of the foods offered, especially in the trading of seasonal products”, adds she.