Are normal laboratory tests still necessary?
YES…BUT NOT SO MANY, because the Freshness Meter is designed to allow many measurements to be taken to routinely screen the product. Occasional laboratory tests can be used as a support to confirm the results and as a means of calibrating the instrument. Because the rate of spoilage varies from species to species, it is necessary to have a calibration chart for each species.
Are there any other benefits?
It is a tool for both trained and untrained personnel in the Fish Industry. It is easy to use and allows the rapid, objective assessment of a large number of fish, unlike other methods of assessment using sight, taste and smell which can be very subjective. The Freshness Meter is never tired, never takes a holiday, and gives consistent readings day after day. It is environmentally friendly, safe to use, and in many cases will pay for itself within a few months.
Can samples be used after testing?
YES…because the Freshness Meter is NON-DESTRUCTIVE. You can measure the same sample many times if necessary without affecting the quality of the fish
Does temperature affect the performance or results achieved using the Freshness Meter?
Within the overall measurement limits of 0 – 10°C, provided that the Fish or Fish Fillets being measured with the Freshness Meter contains no ice crystals, temperature should have no significant effect. Where the Fish or Fish Fillets have been previously frozen or contain ice crystals, the Freshness Meter will display a very low value (normally between 1 and 4). This is because the act of freezing the fish disrupts its cell structure which affects the capacitance and conductivity within its flesh, similarly to the cellular breakdown caused by bacteriological activity. This low value, displayed by the meter, infers that the change in conductivity is spoilage.
Of course, where the fish has indeed been frozen, the fish looks very fresh and of high quality, and is not normally spoiled or smelly. The Freshness Meter serves as a useful quality check for fish buyers as the shelf life of previously frozen fish is significantly lower than that of fish which have been stored properly at or slightly above 0° C since being caught.
- We have found that Fish and Fish Fillets down to – 2° C normally do not contain ice crystals and can be measured as normal.
- We have also found that Fish or Fish Fillets, stored at or above 10° C can suffer moisture loss and create a variance from the Natural Fish State.
For consistent, wholly accurate results, the operator should ensure that the Fish or Fish Fillets are measured at the same ambient temperature on a daily basis within a temperature range of 0 – 10°C.
How accurate is the Freshness Meter?
On un-irradiated, unfrozen/ thawed fish the accuracy of the Freshness Meter is equivalent to +/- 1 day on ice (this depends upon species and handling).
How fast is the measurement?
Time of measurement routine is dependent upon the number of samples used, and the sample setting on Torrymeter:
- Single Reading on 1 Fish ~ 10 seconds.
- Three Readings on 1 Fish ~ 30 seconds
- EIGHT Readings taken on 8 individual Fish selected at random from a batch. This takes ~ 2 minutes, depending on operator experience
If I send a Torrymeter back for repair, how long will it take?
Time to repair Torrymeters is… THREE Working Days, from receipt of Torrymeter Kits at Distell. Therefore you should allow the following overall time scale…
Shipping to Distell, UK… 2-3 Working days
Service at Distell… 3 Working days
Return Shipping… 2-3 Working days
Is it really portable?
YES… unlike other methods, it is a HAND-HELD instrument powered by rechargeable batteries. The Freshness Meter will operate for up to 8 HOURS continuously
Is the meter waterproof?
YES…the case is waterproof and conforms to IP65 standards. This allows the Freshness Meter to be used in wet environments such as Fish Auctions, Sea Ports and Processing Plants
Is there a way to have a dry run before a tournament?
- The best way to test the Torrymeter before a tournament, is to purchase a small, fresh fish from local shop (or better still one that has just been caught by fisherman), and measure with the Torrymeter. A really fresh fish, just caught should give you a value of around 13 to15 depending upon species, and freshness level.
- If you just want to check if the Torrymeter is working, place a little salt in the palm of your hand, moisten with water to create a gritty salt solution in the palm of your hand. Then place the Torrymeter sensors in contact with the salt solution, and press READ Button. The Torrymeter should provide a value of around 16 – 18.
What is the cost of Torrymeter Service, Software Updates, and Calibration ?
The current cost of Torrymeter Service, Software Updates, and Calibration is… £ 285.00 GBP
Above cost assumes that Meter is operating correctly, and no other faults are found. Distell will supply a report once meter has been inspected.
Using International carriers such as… UPS Air Express, FedEx, or TNT International… it will take 1-2 working days for delivery of the Fatmeter Kit to Distell, here in Scotland, in the UK. We will require THREE (3) working days to service and calibrate the Fatmeter Kit. Please allow a further 1-2 working days for return of the Fatmeter Kit to you.
Please return to Distell at the following address… Service Dept, Distell.com, Old Levenseat, Fauldhouse, West Lothian EH47 AD, Scotland – UK.
Please ensure that you follow the instructions below. The shipment should be imported to the UK using the correct UK Customs Codes for… Inward Processing Relief (IPR Suspension) in the UK, using the following IPR details…
Distell’s IPR Authorisation Number… IP/0920/959/23
Customs Economic Code… 30(4)
Customs Entry Code… 51 00 000
Commodity Code…. 9031 8080 00
IMPORTANT – IMPORTANT – IMPORTANT
Please print the following details on… Carton, Labels and Export Documents…where appropriate… ” The equipment is being returned to the manufacturer in the UK for… Repair & Service”.
Please ensure that your carrier is aware of the shipment status…. This will ensure that no customs duties or VAT is levied on the shipment by UK Customs, or by your own customs, when equipment is returned to you.
What is the main use of the Fish Freshness Meter?
Its main use is to measure the relative freshness of Wet Fish…WHOLE FISH & FILLETS e.g. Cod, Whiting, Herring, Mackerel, Tilapia etc. In fact, the meter can be used to measure freshness of most fish species caught and processed around the world. The meter is used for various applications, such as:
- To estimate the freshness and quality of fish
- To grade fish according to European Standards ( E-A-B)
- To determine if fish has been frozen or irradiated
- To estimate Shelf Life
- To check the age of fish during Angling Competitions
What precautions should I take when comparing Fish Freshness Meter results with laboratory analysis?
This is a very important question, and great care should be taken to ensure rigorous attention to detail. When you know that the measurements made by the Freshness Meter are going to be compared to some form of Laboratory Analysis, always ensure a rigorous preparation procedure. Otherwise you may get a different result from the laboratory and this will create confusion and doubt.
The preparation instructions are clearly described in the Freshness Meter Handbook, but for the avoidance of doubt we have given a brief description here, as follows:
Place the sensor head fully in contact with the sample, being careful to exclude any air cavities. Press and hold the ‘READ’ button until the reading has been taken and is displayed on screen.
It is important to be consistent by placing the sensor in the same location each time. This will ensure consistent and comparable results day-to-day…month-to-month. It is normal for the Freshness Meter to give a different value at different measurement sites on the same fish. Different parts of the fish will spoil at different rates due to the bacteria levels, fat content, muscle structure, and cell disruption within the fish.
What species of Fish can I measure using the Fish Freshness Meter?
The measurements displayed by the Freshness Meter are based upon a simple value scale ranging from 1 to 18; the higher the displayed value, the fresher the fish. This means that the Freshness meter can be used to measure most species of fish caught and processed around the world. We simply produce an Organoleptic Chart for each fish species that we wish to measure.