Elaboración de harina de pescado
Almost one third of the worlds annual fish catch is used for processing into fish meal and oil. Peru and Chile are the main fish meal producing countries and they lead its commerce. Fish meal can be produced from any fish or shellfish, but fish offal from the consumption industry and the called 'Industrial fish' are mainly used. Nearly all the fish meal is produced by the wet pressing method that consists of cooking and pressing the raw material and subsequent drying and milling. There are several technologies specially designed to modify certain variables of the process in order to optimize its productivity and the quality of the final product. Fish meal quality depends on the type and freshness of the raw material, the applied thermal treatment and storage conditions. Fish meal is a concentrated source of digestible proteins with high biological value and is widely used as a protein supplement in animal rations. It is also a good source of energy, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin B complex and essential fatty acids rich in omega-3. Blood water secreted from the raw material during storage is the single most contaminating substance in this industry. Fish Protein Concentrates (FPC) are meals suitable for human consumption with excellent nutritional qualities but without high commercial value to their high production cost and scarce flavour acceptance. Fish silage is an alternative method to exploit the raw material used for fish meal with similar nutritional proprieties for animal feed but with high costs of storage and transport, so its production is only justify if it is near the consumption place. In conclusion, an ideal process, technology or raw material condition, cannot be established because it depends on the producers strategy and policy and on the customer and market requirements.