One of the currently most popular fish products is preserves. So-called salty, pickled and spicy products that are packaged in sealed containers of small capacity without additional sterilization. There are many varieties of these delicious snack foods, and their range is constantly expanding. The most popular fish preserves are salted-spiced fish, salted-pickled products from herring fish species (herring, Atlantic, Caspian and White Sea herring, sprats) in spicy or pickled form, in mustard or mayonnaise sauce and with other additives.
Previously, fish salted mainly in barrels. However, modern hermetic packaging has undoubted advantages over them. In this package, the fish is reliably protected from contact with air, it prevents the loss of brine (sodium chloride solution, which is used for salting food), provides the best sanitary and hygienic storage conditions. Sealed packaging, finally, is much more convenient to use (does not leak and gives the product an attractive presentation). As such packaging cans with a capacity of 50 to 5000 grams are used, glass jars with tin lids, cans of polymer materials and polymer films. A tin can is considered the strongest packaging, but it costs more than others. In addition, under canned food cans should be varnished from the inside, since brines and marinades are aggressive environments.
Glass jars are also expensive, and they are rather heavy and fragile, which increases the cost of their transportation. Therefore, in terms of cost and ease of use, the leader in packaging made of polymeric materials. Such packaging is durable, cheap, light and resistant to aggressive environments. Polymer films are mainly used for packaging salted fish products without marinades (herring fillet, salmon slices, etc.). The only drawback of this packaging is that special vacuum-packing machines are required for its use.
Types of Preserves
There are several types of fish preserves, which vary depending on the method of processing fish: salted, spicy and pickled. Salted preserves are produced mainly from mackerel, oily herring, saury and capelin. Such fish is salted directly in cans with a capacity of 1.5, 3 and 5 liters with a small amount of salt (from 7.5 to 9.5%), sugar (0.8-1.5%) and sodium benzoate (0.1%) ) The cans are filled with fish, the contents are poured with marinade, the cans are rolled up and placed in the hold with a temperature of about 0 ° C. Most of such canned products are produced directly at the floating bases. As a rule, 217 mm cans are used for salting herring. They are not the most convenient, since even medium-sized fish do not fit in them in length.
It has to be folded into a ring, which prevents dense packing and increases the consumption of brine. The more marinade in the jar, the more the fish swells and the more valuable properties and taste it loses. Specialists evaluate the gastronomic quality of salted preserves higher than barrel products. However, due to the large amount of marinade, their taste is slightly worse than that of fish cooked without it.
For the production of spicy preserves, as a rule, small fish are used (hamsa, kilka, sprat, herring, sprat, etc.). They are packed in small jars with a capacity of less than one kilogram. In most cases, preserves are made from fresh fish. But also specially prepared or lightly salted spicy semi-finished product can be used as raw material. The quality requirements for products for the production of spicy preserves are general, regardless of the packaging used: the ability to ripen, high fat content and the presence of easily cleaned scales. The raw materials used must be fresh, since the preserves do not contain enough salt. In addition, all manipulations associated with the processing and preparation of the product must be carried out with strict observance of the sanitary conditions that are established for food enterprises. The number and types of spices that make up the mixture for the production of preserves depend on the formulation of a particular manufacturer.
Often, spicy and pickled preserves from chopped herring and other medium and large fish are prepared using various side dishes (usually vegetable), seasonings and sauces. Often they add onions, capers, carrots, tomatoes, pickled or pickled cucumbers, lingonberries, apples, lemons, fruit juices, oil, acetic and citric acid, mayonnaise-based sauces, mustard, etc. The technology for making spicy preserves is quite simple: salted herring or other fish, the salt content of which does not exceed 12%, is cut into fillets, which are then cut into slices. When laying slices in a jar, they are poured with spicy brine or sauce with the addition of a mixture of spices.
Ready-made preserves require special storage conditions, which must be taken into account when equipping storage facilities. Although manufacturers add antiseptics (in particular, sodium benzoate) to their products, however, preserves, unlike canned food, are highly dependent on storage temperature conditions. The fact is that some microbes (for example, lactic acid) are insensitive to benzoate and under certain temperature storage conditions can lead to spoilage of the product. In particular, packaging with preserves, having stood for several hours in a warm room, may swell, although at the same time, the product itself may not contain harmful substances, but it will already be “substandard”.
Preserves Production Process
Consider in more detail the process of producing preserves. Fresh, frozen or chilled fish with a fat content of at least 6% is suitable for their manufacture. Frozen fish that went into production is previously thawed.
Caspian sprat comes into processing in a fresh and slightly salted form. All fish are first sorted by production workers by size. At the same time, substandard raw materials are selected. For canning, a special mixture of salt, sugar, sodium benzoate and ground spices is used. A spice mix can contain up to 20 ingredients. All ratios are determined depending on the type of fish and assortment. They must be regulated by technological instructions. The approximate consumption of raw materials is this: for 1000 cans with a capacity of 353 ml, 25-30 kg of salt is used (depending on the formulation and type of product), 3-3.5 kg of a mixture of spices, 0.33 kg of sodium benzoate.
After processing, the fish and the mixture are placed in jars manually or using special equipment. In the latter case, the cost of the finished product is lower, and productivity is higher. However, with manual laying, the quality of the product and its appearance differ for the better than with automated production. During manual processing, the spice mixture is fed to the place of work of the stackers. They fill the container with fish and sprinkle it as it is filled with spices. For accuracy and uniformity of dosage, the mixture is served in a tin can, from which it is poured onto the fish to be laid, and the released container is filled with the next portion of the product. This simple scheme of work allows you to provide an equal number of seasonings in each jar of preserves. In automated production, two dispensers are provided. Through one of them, fish is fed, through the second a mixture of spices and salt. This allows you to produce much more cans per shift, but does not guarantee an even distribution of salt and fish in each package.
After filling, each can is additionally pressed and sealed with the help of sealing equipment. Sealed products are stored at a temperature of about -7 degrees Celsius for thirty days before being sent for sale. This is necessary for the ripening of preserves.
When using spicy salting, a salted semi-finished product is first prepared from saturated saline solution, in which a mixture of spices is boiled, placed in a separate tank. Then, the spice-salt solution is cooled, diluted with water to a certain concentration and poured into jars, where the salted semi-finished product (chopped carcass of the fish without a head) is previously laid. Banks are sealed and sent to a warehouse for maturation at a temperature of about zero degrees Celsius for 45 days.
Please note: the stock of frozen raw materials in the production should not exceed the hourly needs of the cutting shop. In addition, it should in no case be after defrosting in water for longer than a specified time. After seaming, the preserves must be delivered from the production room to refrigerators for maturing within no more than two hours.
Organization of the production of fish products
The fish processing process is carried out in several stages. Many small enterprises can produce certain types of products using high-quality raw materials and modern equipment. Their objective range is small for objective reasons, which is offset by the high quality of fish products. With a relatively small start-up capital, the creation of such specialized production allows you to recoup all expenses as soon as possible, increasing production capacity and assortment at the expense of profit. Depending on the stages of production of certain products, a mandatory set of premises is determined, which are necessary for the production. The list of production and auxiliary premises, departments and sections of fish production includes: a fish reception workshop, consisting of an unloading platform, a section for receiving fresh, chilled and frozen fish, chilled chambers for short-term storage of raw materials; fish-dressing workshop with a section for defrosting and preparing raw materials, a section for cutting into cookery and semi-finished products, a section for fixing semi-finished products and steaks, a section for preparing and cleaning brine, a section for packing semi-finished products, washing equipment and containers. The preparation of preserves and other products themselves is carried out in the culinary workshop, which consists of a section for the preparation of minced meat and products from it, a section for the preparation of food additives, a section for packaging products and a section for washing equipment and inside workshop containers.
In the cold processing workshop, there are sections for freezing, glazing, sawing and packaging products. The salting shop is divided into a salting section, a salting chamber, a washing and draining section of fish after salting, a washing section for equipment and containers used in the preparation of fish. In addition, the fish processing enterprises have a workshop for cutting and packaging products, a smoking and drying workshop. The latter includes a section for stringing and laying out fish on the net, a smoking section, a drying section, a smoke generating section, a process conditioning room, a packing section, a washing section for equipment and internal workshop packaging. The preservation workshop consists of a cutting and packing department, a department for cooking sauces and marinades, a preparation section for spices, a preparation and cleaning section for brine, a refrigerated chamber for storing finished products and a washing section for inventory and shop floor packaging. The production of canned food is considered one of the most difficult, so the number of sites here is greater than in other workshops. In particular, there is a thermal (smoking, roasting, blanching) compartment, a packing and packing department, an autoclave compartment, a sauces department, an oil calcining section, a container preparation section, a canning department, a smoke generator, a boiler room, an inventory washing and an inside workshop containers, processing and preparation of spices and vegetables.
From any production remains waste. There is a separate workshop for their collection and processing. It consists of a section for separating waste from water, a refrigerated food storage chamber, a site for inspecting waste, producing minced meat, producing fishmeal, a packaging section, a washing section for inventory and used containers, receiving and sanitizing recycled containers, drying and storing recycled containers, cameras for storing finished products. In the forwarding department there are refrigerated chambers for storing finished products, chambers for ripening preserves, sections for completing finished products and an expedition platform.
The workshop for receiving and washing recycled containers consists of only two departments - the department for receiving and sanitizing containers and compartments for its drying and storage. Warehouses include a container storage chamber, a recycling container storage chamber, a container repair section, a packaging material storage chamber, an auxiliary materials storage chamber, a salt storage warehouse, a sawdust and whetstone warehouse (for smoking), a storage warehouse for spare parts, equipment exchange units, parts warehouse storage empty containers. In addition to production and storage facilities, fish processing plants have utility rooms (for example, for storage, washing and drying of cleaning equipment, for preparing detergent solutions, for drying work clothes, a water treatment department and a separate pantry for dry garbage), administrative and household premises, technical rooms (in particular, the engine room of refrigerators, transformer, switchboard, ventilation rooms), mechanical repair and carpentry workshops, laboratories. In addition, there is a chemical department, which, in turn, consists of the preparation, chemical, weight, exhaust, washing (for the laboratory), pantry of reagents, devices and utensils, the office of the head of the laboratory, washing.
For the production of fish preserves, you will need facilities that meet established requirements, equipment for the production and storage of finished products and raw materials. In addition, it is necessary to take care of the certification of production and products and the search for distribution channels. Many domestic companies offer a complete set of equipment for the production of canned fish and preserves. In addition, you can purchase a ready-made business. So, for example, a small production of fish preserves with a staff of 20-25 workers will cost 4-5 million rubles. True, this amount includes only equipment. Add to it the cost of renting a space of at least 500 square meters. meters (about 100-120 thousand rubles per month), employee wages, raw materials costs, utility bills, etc. The payback period, according to business owners, is about a year, but most likely it is unlikely to be less than two years.
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