Salt cod in­spires pos­si­ble method to pre­serve tis­sue

Modern Healthcare - - OUTLIERS ASIDES & INSIDES -

Con­sider the hum­ble cod. For cen­turies one of the most soughtafter North At­lantic fish for ta­bles on both sides of the ocean, cod is cen­tral to a wide ar­ray of com­fort­ing dishes. Now dried salt cod fig­ures in stud­ies by re­searchers at the Nor­we­gian Univer­sity of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy in Trond­heim as they look for ways to bet­ter pre­serve hu­man tis­sue.

Tis­sue sam­ples are now pre­served through freez­ing, ei­ther in for­ma­lin or liq­uid ni­tro­gen, and stored at tem­per­a­tures from 112 to 315 de­grees be­low zero. But keep­ing tis­sue at such low tem­per­a­tures is ex­pen­sive and re­quires close mon­i­tor­ing. Cue the cod. The Nordic sci­en­tists are look­ing at one method that uses rapid freez­ing along with a long­time Nor­we­gian method to dry salt cod.

Dry­ing would be a big money-saver, and the tis­sue could be stored at higher tem­per­a­tures in or­di­nary freez­ers or re­frig­er­a­tors.

“A method that would al­low sam­ples to be dried is there­fore of great in­ter­est to ar­eas of the world with limited eco­nomic re­sources,” said Pro­fes­sor Jostein Hal­gun­set.

In the method un­der study, tis­sue from test an­i­mals was rapidly frozen in liq­uid ni­tro­gen, than dried with a heat pump at tem­per­a­tures from 14 to 41 de­grees, much like the method used to dry salt cod. The re­sults: RNA and cell struc­ture was mostly pre­served, mak­ing the method promis­ing and cost-ef­fec­tive.

The team re­cently pub­lished its find­ings in the jour­nal Dry­ing Tech­nolo­gies.

Tra­di­tion­ally salt cod is hung up to dry in Norway.

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