Wednesday, 05 July 2017 08:00

Lithuania: Fish processor discovers healthier alternative to bacon


JFish, a company based near Kaunas in Lithuania, has discovered that catfish can be used to produce bacon, says According to the company's head of production Marius Krutulis, the taste was found accidentally, when conducting tests for another product.

Krutulis emphasises the importance of the small details in the production of the fish. The taste depends not only on the proper production and smoking, but also on the way the fish is caught and slaughtered. In order to maximise the preservation of the nutritional value of the catfish, we first stun it by plunging it into cold water. In this way the fish is not stressed and the fish fillet is of the highest quality. It is a simple, but effective technology, says Mr Krutlis. The fish do not contain any artificial colors or flavour enhancers such as monosodium glutamate or smoke taste concentrates. According to Mr Krutulis, the same taste can be obtained using purely natural materials.

The difference in the nutritional value of lean pork and catfish is significant. 100 g of pork contains 14 g of protein, 33 g of fat, no carbohydrates and 356.9 kilocalories, whereas 100 g of catfish contains 18 g of protein and 6.9 g of fat. It also contains 0.3 g of carbohydrates and only 134.5 kilocalories. The catfish filet contains more protein and less fat than pork and also has the valuable fatty acids omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9. Due to these facts, this fish is classified as dietary food, and we have also received an official approval from the Lithuanian Association of Dietitians, explains Krutulis.

It is no secret that farming animals for meat often involves the use of growth hormones and growth stimulating drugs. However, clean water and food is enough to ensure the rapid growth of the catfish, which can reach a weight of 1-2 kg in 8-9 months. The company produces about 360 tons of catfish per year.