The Norwegian Seafood Research Fund (FHF) has begun a project, ‘Market opportunities for immature roe from North Sea herring (NSH) and Norwegian spring spawning herring (NSSH)’.
Herring roe is phospoholipid and omega-3 (EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)) loaded and is already on-market in the UK, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand with major supplement manufacturers like Nordic Naturals.
Mature roe is commonly made into caviar while immature roe is used for fish meal, and increasingly in the human food chain.
Wenche Emblem Larssen and associates produced the report and said: “The herring industry has previously only exploited spawning or matured roe a limited period, when roe offers the greatest yield and the best sensory properties. The differences in egg size and nutritional content of immature versus mature roe are thus smaller than previously assumed.”
“Recent studies however have identified market opportunities of immature roe both for consumption and as an ingredient.”
The Norwegian herring roe fishery is Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) approved meaning it has met certain criteria regarding its sustainability.
In addition to foods and supplements, cosmetic products are another market target, the report said.