Displaying items by tag: processing
Producing food requires huge resources but an estimated one seventh of the resulting products are lost before they are consumed, and in the case of fish and seafood as much as one third! Whether spoiled, destroyed or carelessly thrown away – losses on the way from origin to plate are high. New strategies are now being developed to reduce or, better still, to avoid food waste and losses altogether.
This article was featured in EUROFISH Magazine 5 /2020.
During the catching and processing of fish and seafood considerable amounts of waste occur. Some of it, roughly estimated at around 17%, is “disposed of” at sea immediately after the catch. About twice as much is lost during processing on land. And then there are also losses that occur during transport, at individual stages of trade, in the catering trade, or in consumers’ homes. A definition of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is often used to distinguish between “food losses” and “food waste”.
This article was featured in EUROFISH Magazine 5 / 2020.
As in other countries the pandemic’s impact on the hotel, restaurant, and catering sector was brutal. Producers of canned fish products, an important part of the Latvian processing industry, however experienced an uptick in demand as consumers took to stockpiling shelf stable goods and those with long expiry dates in the early days of the virus’ spread. The canning sector forms an important part of the Latvian fish processing sector with a tradition that goes back over a century. Today there are a handful of large companies that are the main producers and exporters of canned products down from some 20 firms a couple of decades ago. These companies belong to the Union of Latvian Fish Processing Industry, an association that decides the criteria behind the label Riga sprats in oil, which the companies use to market their canned sprats. The raw material for this well-known product, exports of which go around the world, comes from the Baltic Sea. The canning industry faced a crisis in 2015 when Russia embargoed canned products from Latvia. Since Russia was the single most important market for several producers this development contributed to the restructuring and consolidation among canned fish producers. Since then canneries have expanded their export markets mainly to the EU, but also to other countries such as Canada, Japan, and the US. Processing facilities are certified to EU standards, but also to other international standards such as International Featured Standards (IFS), British Retail Consortium (BRC), or GOST (for Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries). Cans account for only part of the output from the processing sector, other products include smoked, salted, and preserved fish. According to the 2019 STECF report on the EU fish processing sector, Latvian processors are active importers and exporters of fish and seafood. Data from the Central Statistics Bureau of Latvia show that exports of processed fish products increased steadily in value from 2016 to reach EUR93m in 2019, a growth of 42% over the period, while volumes increased by 17%.On the other hand, the export value of fresh, chilled or frozen fish declined 11% to EUR73m. Raw materials, other than those available from Latvia’s Baltic Sea catches, are supplied by other countries. Imports of chilled or frozen fish between 2016 and 2019 increased 2% in value to EUR128m, while the volume actually fell 4% to 64,000 tonnes. The main trading partners for supply of raw material are Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania and Poland.
Ambitious strategy charts out aquaculture development
This article was featured in EUROFISH Magazine 1/2020
Fish production in the Republic of Uzbekistan comes primarily from inland capture fishing and fish farming. The latter is mainly the extensive pond production of silver carp and common carp, but plans are afoot to expand this to other species using water-conserving technologies.
Uzbekistan is a landlocked country situated in the middle of Central Asia and has an area of about 450,000 km2. The country has a typical inland climate with marked seasonal temperature fluctuations, i.e. hot summers and cold winters. The average temperature in summer is about 27 оС often rising to more than 40 оС in the daytime, while the average temperature in February is -6 to -8 оС.
Better care of water resources would increase sector potential
Marel, a leading producer of sophisticated equipment for the fish processing industry, held its annual demonstration of machinery for whitefish processing at its dedicated demo centre, Progress Point, in Kastrup close to the Copenhagen airport. The event brought together existing and potential customers from all around the world as well as partners, Marel employees, and representatives from the press. The guests were treated to a day of equipment demonstrations and presentations both by Marel employees and external experts about some of the important trends shaping the future development of the industry.
This article was featured in EUROFISH Magazine 6/2019.
The Croatian fish processing industry has been facing a growing lack of skilled labour for its production, a problem which escalated in 2019. This has led to changes in business plans for the coming years. The high-intensity production with many workers is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Automation and robotics are mentioned more often within the industry even though, in some sectors like small pelagic fish, there is still high demand for skilled workers, since automation is not an efficient enough substitute.
Barcelona based Frime, a specialist in tuna and swordfish, is spending EUR 16 million to construct a new processing facility that will be ready in 2021, quadrupling the company’s current processing capacity of about 10,000 tonnes per year. The family-owned business has expanded its turnover incredibly over the last decade and anticipates this will continue. Demand is strong in Hungary, Poland, the US, Central America, and Asia, Salva Ramon, Frime’s CEO, points out.
Seamark supplies frozen fish and seafood sourced from different countries around the world to customers in continental Europe and the UK.
Seamark started life as a grocery store selling meat, vegetables, and fish to consumers in the UK in the mid-70s. Today it is a multinational company with operations in the UK, USA and Bangladesh, suppliers across Asia, and well-known product brands. Frozen warm water shrimp of various kinds – freshwater, black tiger, and vannamei – are the company’s speciality, but it also distributes squid, scallops, seafood mixes, pangasius, tilapia and seabass, to wholesalers, retailers, industry, as well as the food service sector.
Italy is the world’s fourth largest producer of anchovy with 37,511 tonnes caught in 2015 according to the latest EUMOFA Case Study: Processed Anchovy in Italy. Italian anchovy is consumed fresh or processed as salted anchovy, anchovy in oil, or marinated anchovy. This case study, published in February, focuses on salted anchovy and anchovy in oil. Italian anchovy production is broken into two types; Small-scale production marketed regionally and industrial scale production, based partly on imports from countries like Albania, Morocco, and Tunisia, of which circa three fourths is sold within Italy and the rest is exported. In 2015 imports of anchovy reached a little over 26,000 tonnes while about 20,000 tonnes were exported and some 44,000 tonnes were consumed in Italy. For one kilogram of processed anchovy (preserved in oil or salted) between 1,9 and 2,3 kg of fresh anchovy is needed due to losses during the different production stages. Fish accounts for 9% to 20% of the cost of the final product to consumers which ranges from EUR28/kg to EUR53/kg for small-scale production of anchovy preserved in olive oil in the Ligurian area. Labour costs account for 14%-16% while distribution costs account for the largest share (between 28% and 53%) of the final consumer price. More detailed information is available online at www.eumofa.eu/eumofa-publications.
Riba Drazin, an expanding processing company, was founded in 2013 in the small fishing town Kastela Kambelovac in Dalmatia, Croatia, by award-winning innovator and entrepreneur, Zivko Drazin.
For generations, people in the town of Kastela have been involved in fishing and fish processing, and especially in the traditional hand salting and marinating of anchovies and sardines. Among the oldest inhabitants of the town is the Drazin family, one of the few remaining that still nurtures the traditional manual way of production.
Higher profits through industrial and culinary usage
With the exception of trout, dorade and a few other fish species that are traditionally prepared on the bone, fillets or loins are today the order of the day where enjoyment of fish is concerned. But that doesn’t mean that processing waste and other remains that are often overlooked are worthless: indeed, they often contain valuable ingredients and – if these are processed and prepared correctly – they can definitely find interested buyers. Many of these fish parts are edible and some of them are even considered delicacies in certain regions of the world.
Preferences when it comes to taste are often contradictory and not easy to understand. Dietary preferences have undergone changes in the course of history. What might in one place be seen as waste can somewhere else be considered a culinary delight. In our part of the world no one would think of eating fish entrails, and even the dark strips of meat from the muscle along the lateral line of the fillet are frequently removed. At the same time a lot of these supposedly sensitive fish eaters enjoy eating slimy oysters without considering that they are swallowing a living animal complete with intestine, gills and other guts. What we know, use and appreciate as food is not only regulated by laws and requirements (for the purpose of food safety, for example) but is also influenced by traditions, culture or religion. That explains why by-products like skin, liver, roe and other internal organs are rarely seen on our plates although they are at least just as nutritious as the fillets. Even tolerant people will perhaps turn up their noses at frogs’ legs, scorpions, locusts or insects that are eaten as delicacies in other parts of the world. Our ancestors were much more robust with regard to their food. One only has to think of snipe that was roasted and eaten whole complete with its innards and bowel contents and was seen as the peak of culinary enjoyment. Today this rather dubious pleasure is forbidden in the EU for reasons of hygiene. An unnecessary taboo since most Europeans would probably be quite happy to do without it… With the exception perhaps of some obstinate Italians who in spite of the ban still can’t do without their “merdocchio”.