Sea Food & Fish Processing & Storage

Once you have decided to setup a sea food processing plant and freezer room, this FAQs is helpful for you

Sea Food Processing & Storage
Freezer Room - Frozen Fish
Shrimp Processing & Storage
Oysters Processing & Storage

Sea Food Processing & Storage

1) How to decide on the  room size for the sea food blast freezer?
The size  of the blast freezer in the seafood industry depends on size of the fish  & trolleys. Usually, these are the idea dimensions of the room:
(a) A 2 ton blast freezer room size 15 x 12 x 12 ft
(b) A 5 ton blast freezer room size 20 x 12 x 14 ft        
The above sizes may vary according to various factors like size of fish, availability of space in the factory, height of the room etc
2) How to decide on the  room size for the sea food freezer room?
The room size of a freezer room in a seafood industry varies based the below factors:
(a) Packing Size
(b) Pallet Size
(c) Height of the room          
Just  for estimate, you may calculate the room size as 220kg/m3 of seafood.
3) What is procedure for calculation of refrigeration capacity (heat load) for a sea food blast freezer?
The  following parameters are required to calculate refrigeration capacity of a sea food blast freezer:
(a) Room dimension
(b) Outside Temperature
(c) Panel Thickness
(d) Product Type
(e) Incoming temperature of the Product
(f) Room temperature required
(g) Pull down Time
(h) Quantity of Product
Use our Blue Cold Heat Load  calculator - Blast Room Calculator to get the load with safety factor through these input.
4) What is procedure for calculation of refrigeration capacity (heat load) for a sea food freezer room?
(a) Room dimension
(b) Outside Temperature
(c) Panel Thickness
(d) Product Type
(e) Incoming temperature of the Product
(f) Room temperature required
(g) Pull down Time
(h) Quantity of Product
Use our Blue Cold heat load calculator - Cold Room calculator to get the load with safety factor through these input.
5) What are the things  to keep in mind while designing a blast freezer indoor unit?
Once you have taken out the heat load from the Blue Cold  Heat Load app, you may take a note on the following points:
(a) Fitment of evaporator inside the room
(b) Fin spacing ideally should be 8-10 mm for a blast freezer
(c) DT considered can be 5-6 °C
(d) There should be proper balance of pitch (square pitch), total surface area, tube volume & air volume inside the room to attain maximum efficiency.
The above factors are to be kept in mind while designing the  Indoor unit for the Blast Freezer in Seafood Industry.
6) How important is blast freezing in the sea food industry?
In commercial processing, seafood are flash frozen/blast frozen so that as many nutrients are retained as possible, and to make sure that the food is as fresh and flavorful as it can be. Blast Freezing ensures the following points:
(a) Helps in crystallizing water content inside the seafood
(b) Elimination of growth of microorganisms & bacteria
(c) Retainment of taste
(d) Retainment of freshness
(e) Flavorful taste
7) Which is the best  combination of indoor & outdoor (Freon) for an seafood freezer & hardening room?
There are various options available in the market, however in  India we recommend the following combination:
(a) Outdoor unit - Blue Cold unit with Bitzer Compressor
(b) Indoor unit - Blue Cold unit ( BHN/BFZ Range)
8) Which is the most suitable cooling units available in India for Blast Freezer for Seafood in India?
There are various options available in the market, however in India we recommend the following combination:
(a) Blue Cold make condensing units, unit cooler and blast freezers
(b) Blue Cold make ammonia indoor units and blast freezers
9) How Blue Cold blast freezer for is better than other makes?
(a) Design - To attain maximum efficiency,  Blue Cold Blast Freezers are designed to not only get the required  temperatures but also focused on Efficiency. The Square Pitch design allows  the Indoor unit to have lower pressure drops & higher Tube Volumes, hence  attaining maximum efficiency
(b) High Quality Fans - Blue Cold uses the best quality fans available with  high ESP to ensure better air circulation and as a result high quality of  Seafood
(c) Signwave Fins - The Signwave design Fins helps in increasing the  efficiency and as a result helps in attaining temperature on time
(d) Robotic Welding - The tubes are Robotic welded hence increasing the  reliability of the unit.
10) Can the blast freezer be customized as per my requirement?
Yes, sure it can be customized as per your requirement. Please feel free to contact the regional person to clarify your doubts.
11) What role does the indoor unit play in saving electricity in a Seafood plant?
To attain maximum efficiency, Blue Cold blast freezers are designed to not only get the required temperatures but also focused on Efficiency. The square pitch design allows the indoor unit to have lower pressure drops & higher tube volumes, hence it results in maximum efficiency.
12) What role does the indoor unit play in the quality of Seafood in a Seafood plant?
(a) The right balance of  pitch, surface area, tube volume & air flow helps in the maximum efficiency inside a blast freezer.
(b) It is recommended to Blast Freeze the sea food within 5-6 days of catching of fish.
(c) The Blast Freezer should be designed in such a way that the temperature is achieved within a maximum of 4-8 hours.
13) Choosing between Ammonia vs  Freon in a Seafood plant?
Freon units are suitable for a small scale manufacturer of Seafood of production of upto 2-4 tons per day and Ammonia units are suitable for a large scale manufacturer of seafood  should always prefer an Ammonia Unit over a  Freon Unit

Freezer Room - Frozen Fish

1) What are the types of quality loss found in frozen fish?
a)    Off-odors and flavors due to bacterial action prior to freezing
b)   Loss of tissue structure, development of toughness, and tendency to drip during longtime thawing
c)    Rancid off-odors and flavors, and rusting due to poor packaging or glazing
d)   Drying out and tough due to improper packaging or glazing
e)    Color change happened
2) List the factors influencing quality loss in frozen fish?
a)   Intrinsic factors
b)   Holding procedures prior to freezing
c)   Packaging material or glaze
d)   Freezing rate
e)   Thawing methods
f)    Freezer temperatures
g)   Variety of fish
3) How the storage life of fish changes for different storage temperature conditions?
Cod Fish:
a) -18 °C -> 15 Weeks
b) -23 °C -> 35 Weeks
c) -29 °C -> 77 Weeks

Salmon Fish:

a) -18 °C -> 37 Weeks
b) -23 °C -> 42 Weeks
c) -29 °C -> 70 Weeks
4) Classification of fish based on frozen storage?
a)   Fat fish
b)   Lean fish
5) How the storage life of fat and lean type frozen fish varied?
a) Moderately fatty and glazed fish -> 6 to 10 months if packed whole or headed and gutted; 4 to 8 months if pieces and fillets
b) Lean and glazed fish -> 10 to 12 months if packed whole or headed and gutted; 8 to 10 months if pieces and fillets
6) List the species of fat and lean fish type?
Fat fish:
a) Alewives
b) Bluefish
c) Carp
d) Salmon

Lean fish:
a)  Bass
b)  Black fish
c)  Cusk
d)  Marlin
7) What the points are for retain the quality of frozen prepared fish products?
a)   Product should be stored at below -18 °C
b)   High quality packing material should be used
c)   Minimize the fluctuation of storage temperature
8) What is the effect of freezing and thawing on quality of fish?
a)   Fast freezing is good frozen fish storage
b)   Thawing should be fast to achieve quality
c)   Active refreezing required after glazing of frozen fish product
d)   Avoid refreezing for maintain the quality of frozen fish product

Shrimp Processing & Storage

1) What are the storage conditions of shrimp?
a) Fresh Storage:
Whole Shrimp can be stored maximum up to 3 days if it kept in 2 °C to 6 °C
Headless Shrimp can be stored maximum up to 5 days if it kept in 2 °C to 6 °C
Peeled Shrimp can be stored maximum up to 5 days if it kept in 0 °C

b) Freezer room at -18 °C to -20 °C:
Whole shrimp can be stored up to 12 to 13 months
Peeled shrimp can be stored up to 4 to 6 months
Breaded shrimp can be stored up to 12 months
2) What are the practices for handling of shrimp?
a)     Whole shrimp should remove heads after catching as soon as possible and washed thoroughly before packing in ice
b)    Headless fresh should be packed in crushed melting ice and held in a room at 4.4 °C to 10 °C and provide proper drainage to melted ice
c)     Peeled and peeled deveined fresh shrimp- should be packed in slush ice and held in a room at 2 °C to 6 °C
d)    Cooked shrimp first peeled and then cooked in salt brine or marinated solution, layered in crushed ice at 0 °C
e)     Breaded and cooked breaded shrimp must be frozen after processing and held at -18 °C
3) What are the factors deciding the expected storage life of shrimp?
a) Raw material
b) Handling
c) Period of time such as catching, processing, or freezing
4) List the diseases and injuries and control of shrimp?
a) Black spot- Microorganisms or a mold were the cause of black spot, discoloration is caused by enzymes
b) Control- Icing the shrimp thoroughly and keeping at 0 °C and washing of shrimp in a 1.25% sodium bisulfite solution for 1 minute
5) List the chemicals used for shrimp preservation?
a) Antibiotics
b) Ascorbic acid-citric acid mixtures
c) Sodium bisulfite
d) Combination of these chemicals
6) What are the practices for freezing of shrimp?
a) Reduce the time interval between time of catching and finished freezing. If longer the time interval will cause darker and tougher product
b) Packed with moisture-vapor-proof package materials to prevent drying out and discoloration
c) Cryogenic freezing is more commonly used for shrimp, because of rapid freezing rate and less drip loss to improve the quality of shrimp
7) List the storage life of different fish for different storage temperatures?
a) Cod fillets (cello wrapped in 2.7 kg pack) -> 15 weeks if stored in -18 °C; 35 weeks if stored in -23 °C & 77 weeks if stored in -29 °C
b) Salmon, whole dressed (glazed) -> 37 weeks if stored in -18 °C; 42 weeks if stored in -23 °C & 70 weeks if stored in -29 °C
c) Shrimp, green headless (glazed in 2.7 kg cartons) -> 5 weeks if stored in -18 °C; 10 weeks if stored in -23 °C & 26 weeks if stored in -29 °C
d) Alaska Pollack surimi blocks ->
8) How does dried shrimp freeze?
a) First peeled, deveined, cooked shrimp is frozen and dehydrated in a vacuum chamber without thawing until only 10% or less of its moisture remains
b) Packed in moisture-proof packages or cans, it retains its quality and color well for short time without necessity of cool temperatures

Oysters Processing & Storage

1) What are the storage conditions of oyster?
a) Fresh Storage:
In shell oyster can be stored maximum up to 10 to 14 days if it kept in 3 °C to 6 °C
Shucked meats can be stored maximum up to 9 to 14 days if it kept in 1 °C to 2.8 °C
Chill-pak oysters can be stored maximum up to 14 days if it kept in 1 °C

b) Freezer room at  -27 °C:
Meats in hermetically sealed containers can be stored up to 8 to 12 months
Breaded oysters can be stored up to 6 to 12 months
2) How to handle the different types of oysters?
a) Shell oysters- it should be washed with potable water just before shucking, under carefully regulated conditions to avoid excessive uptake of water
b) Shucked oysters- it should be placed in containers after washing and sorting. The containers should be iced or chilled immediately
c) Frozen oysters- usually it is in breaded form. It is frozen in cans, poly bags, plastic cups, or IQF. Freezing is done before the product packed in master cartons.Exposure of breaded oysters to elevated temperatures causes the breading to become soggy and unsightly.
3) What are the practices for freezing of oysters?
a) Only the freshest of oysters should be frozen
b) If the oysters are frozen is being delayed, will have short storage life
c) Moisture-vapor-proof packages or metal containers are a necessity one,for protection of discoloration, dehydration, and toughening