Seafood Processing – Full Utilization

Global fisheries are missing out on millions of dollars in profits from fish and seafood byproducts including lesser-used parts of these species. Full utilization offers new opportunities for competitiveness and profitability from what has historically been considered waste.

Waste is a waste!

Waste is a big issue worldwide in the fish and seafood industries with the average around 35%. In the U.S. it’s even higher. 47% of the U.S. seafood destined for market is going to waste or to low-value byproducts like fishmeal. About 14% of this loss occurring during processing and distribution. Huge opportunity for seafood processors.

Cheaper to discard?

Much of this waste has value but it can often seem more economical to discard. Sea processors often discard low-value trimmings to help maximize the value of their load. Processors may lack the equipment or technology to process all parts of an animal, which makes fishmeal the default end use typically.

Moreover, waste components are typically unsorted and not tracked, which makes it costly if not impossible to collect and process. Identifying high-value uses for seafood byproducts is essential to making collection and upcycling more feasible and attractive.

Other uses…

It has been reported by numerous popular media venues that fish stocks are declining and sustainability is at issue. The seafood sector needs to look beyond traditional low-value end uses and get the most out of their catch. They should look at the development of products for human consumption and specialized industrial applications, which typically have higher dollar per kilo/pound return. A focus on making trimmings more suitable for use in sports nutrition, soups, and baby food for example.

Other innovations could focus on improving extraction of high-value, collagen-based ingredients for applications in functional nutrition, pharmaceuticals, biomedicine, biomaterials, and cosmetics. These new opportunities will need identification/tracking/quality control software to digital connect and to quantify the end result.

Here’s a few examples of other uses that are typically more lucrative:

  • Oil Supplements
  • Secondary Food Products, Sauces and Spreads
  • Leather, Shoe and Fashion Industry
  • Medical, Bandages, Hand and Foot Creams
  • Cosmetics, Anti-Aging
  • Biodiesel
  • Pharmaceuticals, Tissue and Nerve Regeneration
  • And Much More…

Iceland’s leading the charge!

“Iceland is focused on value from the entire fish…” – Carey Bonnell, head of the School of Fisheries at the Marine Institute in St. John’s

Iceland plans to get more from oils/skins and from the heads/livers by putting them to use into pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and biomedical type applications including skincare products, etc.. Using more of the fish byproducts are the key components of Iceland’s efforts to make more money with less fish. Their goal is to look at this endeavor in terms of full utilization, maximizing production and most importantly maximizing the value per kilo of catch.

As you can see, full utilization of any seafood product is a smart business move with a very large potential. With byproducts ranging from biodiesel to pharmaceuticals the sky is literally the limit.

Coolearth can help with all your quality control, warehousing, labeling, traceability, reporting/analyses and more throughout your new journey towards full utilization. Give us a call to discuss further. Good luck!

Resources:
The application of seafood processing by-products in the food industry
Entrepreneurs getting creative with seafood byproducts
Innovative Green Technologies of Intensification for Valorization of Seafood and Their By-Products
North Pacific Fishery Management Council – Managing our Nation’s Fisheries off the Coast of Alaska
By-products industry missing out on millions
Waste not, want not: Would you wear shoes made of fish?
Utilization of seafood processing by-products: medicinal applications.
Seafood Waste and Byproducts

 

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