“Fish slaughter” can be understood in different ways: It generally comprises preparatory measures for the slaughter process, then the stunning and actual killing of the fishes, as well as gutting. In the past the focus was primarily on efficiency and profitability. Today, efforts are also made to avoid unnecessary stress for the fishes. This applies both to manual and machine slaughter processes.

The market for plate freezers has always been fiercely competitive. Over the last years, however, with the entry on to the market of Asian companies that can produce equipment at lower costs than their European counterparts, the focus has moved to innovation, reliability, and customer service.

Skagerak Salmon, part of the Skagerak Group, specialises in salmon products both semi-processed, but also increasingly portions for the retail market and more value-added products. About 60% of the production is fresh fish while the rest is frozen.

Polylactic acid (PLA) is a compound derived from renewable resources such as corn starch, sugarcane, or tapioca that can be used for the manufacture of plastic packaging materials that have several advantages over plastics produced from oil. Among the companies that are using this material is Depron, a manufacturer of packaging materials based in the Netherlands.

Seac AB, the Swedish company specialised in renovated processing machinery for the fish industry, will launch the FPM-400, a new nobbing and filleting machine, at Seafood Processing Europe in April.

The fishing industry in Iceland has learned that adding ever more value to the resource is the only way to compensate for dwindling fish catches. This pursuit for greater value has led to the development of a vast and diverse ancillary industry on Iceland dedicated to developing and implementing methods that increase the returns from the raw material. Vessel design, catching gear, storage and transport, processing machinery, and biotechnology, are some of the areas that have developed in Iceland as a result of the fishing industry.

Fish quality is directly related to the temperature at which it is stored. Deterioration of the product starts immediately upon the death of the animal and from then on can not be reversed, but only arrested. Keeping product at the correct temperature is crucial to bringing the process of deterioration almost to a standstill, thereby maintaining quality. A substantial body of scientific literature has proven the direct link between the temperature at which the product is maintained and its shelf life. If the integrity of the cool chain is compromised even briefly, this will influence the shelf life of the product.

Liquid ice and slurry ice have certain advantages over flake ice. The liquid “binary” ice surrounds shrimps or fish within just seconds, and the ice doesn’t have to be broken up, so a pickaxe and shovel are superfluous. With “Easy Ice”, the refrigeration engineering company Cooltech now offers a new soft, snow-like ice which provides fast intensive cooling. On-board production of Easy Ice is inexpensive and the machine requires only little space.

Germany is well know for its Mittelstand, the small and medium-sized companies that specialise in niche products, often in engineering, that have made the Made in Germany label well known the world over. Less famous perhaps is the equivalent of the Mittelstand in Italy, where many small and typically family-owned firms have successfully carved niches for themselves in international markets.

Constant cooling or freezing is indispensable in the seafood sector for maintaining the freshness and quality of temperature sensitive products on their way from their source to their final preparation. In addition to ice, which is probably the most common refrigerant, there are a lot of other cooling techniques that together enable products to be kept under optimal temperature conditions throughout the cold chain.

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