Norwegian prawn producer Stella Polaris utilizes new DNA technology from ORIVO to document product authenticity

Stella Polaris

Molde/Finnsnes, Norway – May 25th 2021

Stella Polaris AS announces that the company has started utilizing a novel laboratory analysis to document the authenticity of its shrimp products. The method, developed by ORIVO, represents a new way of establishing trust in the seafood industry supply chain. The initiative is a direct response to the growing demand for traceability evidence among European retailers. The method is already in use in the aquaculture industry.

Christian B. Nordahl, CEO of Stella Polaris Norway, explains why the company now starts using this testing technology:

– Unfortunately, food fraud seems to be an increasing problem, and recent years we have seen big media scandals about for instance beef in lasagna being replaced with horsemeat and melanin found in infant formula. Stella Polaris wants to take a lead position in dealing with this type of problem. As a superior producer of cooked and peeled prawns we want to provide trust and transparency to our customers and the consumers buying our products. We also see the first signs of demand for this type of documentation amongst our customer.

The laboratory analysis used is based on advanced DNA sequencing technology developed through a substantial R&D effort, funded by The Norwegian Research Council. The method was originally developed by ORIVO for the accurate detection of species in more processed samples like fishmeal or fish feed, where the species complexity often is high. However, the method may turn out to be just as valuable for other types of marine products. ORIVO has recently been experiencing an increased interest from the seafood industry for its services, and ORIVO CEO Svein Erik Haugmo is not surprised that the need for evidence-based transparency in the seafood industry is now starting to materialise:

– The work we have done together with Stella Polaris represents a very exciting development for ORIVO. The trend with an increasing demand for transparency in the seafood industry is something we have been aware of for quite some time. We have had a theory that our services can provide value at several levels in the seafood market, which is frequently faced with media reports related to fraud. The fact that a well renowned supplyer like Stella Polaris reached out to us, makes us even stronger in the believe that our services really can make a difference.

Located by the coast in Northern Norway, Stella Polaris is based near the fishing grounds of the northern prawn, Pandalus borealis, which is the main species the company use for its production. Stella Polaris´ Øyvind Jøstensen, understands his clients´ need for independent documentation of product authenticity:

– Due to the growing trend among consumers to care more about the origin of their food, traceability has become a key focus area for many of our clients. Using Pandalus borealis as the basic specie for our production, we chose an independent third-party, like ORIVO to verify the DNA of the specie, through actual laboratory testing. I think this kind of evidence-based transparency solutions will be an important part of building customer trust in the future.

About Stella Polaris AS

Up North in Norway where you find the Northern Lights, the family-owned prawn producer Stella Polaris is located. Established in 1968 in the small village of Kårvikhamn, we produce cooked & peeled Norwegian prawns (Pandalus borealis) of excellent quality with passion and care. This thanks to highly skilled people, with long time experience and modern state of the art production facilities. We are Norway’s largest producers, with an annual production around 5.000 tons, and serve retailers and food service sector, in more than 18 markets globally.