Researchers from Japan have come up with a novel sea food paste that is fermented using the same fungus as Miso. The paper, published in the Journal of Food Science assesses the oxidative stability of the lipids rich in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in scallop ovary.
So why ferment? Basically EPA and DHA are omega 3 fatty acids, which many studies have shown to be good for us. The problem is they are easily oxidised and breakdown to produce off flavours that you don’t want in your food. Food fermented with koji (Aspergillus oryzae) also used to make miso and sake to name but two, has a longer shelf life due to the fermentation process. Therefore the researchers tried fermenting scallop ovary for 60 days and measured the changes in the nutritional content during this time interval. The total lipid oxidation was shown to be low despite the high level of oxidiatively unstable lipids, in other words, the DHA and EPA levels appeared to remain high.
According to the paper, Sakana Miso (fish miso) was first reported by Giri et al. in 2009 who have developed it for mackerel, lizard fish and squid meat. A quick internet search did not come up with many results though so we may be waiting a while for this to go mainstream, a pity to be sure.
The paper is available from the Journal of Food Science website.