That is the conclusion in a study that set out to uncover what the current hurdles and bottlenecks are that prevent the implementation of valorisation solutions in the seafood industry.
The study was conducted by the WaSeaBi partners based on a dedicated survey targeted the seafood industry.
How are seafood side-streams currently being handled and how are they used?
According to the results obtained from the industry questionnaire so far, solid side-streams are already sorted and stored separately in 63% of the companies. However, solid side-streams are only handled in a food grade manner in 25% of the participating companies, which can be a big barrier ahead of valorisation of the side-streams for food application.
The respondents in the survey include both small companies with less than 25 employees as well as large companies with more than 250 employees, which cover a wide range of stakeholders. Further, the responding companies also process different species including cod, shrimp, mussel, salmon, and other species where shrimp and cod are among the most common processed species.
The majority of the participating companies (83%) believe that their side-streams can be handled in a food grade manner although it is not currently done, which is very positive. The results also show that only 13% of the companies already use their side-streams for food application and the side-streams in the remaining 87% are used for non-food applications, where feed is the most common application.
The results for the liquid side-streams show that there is not any specific value addition, which is done on the side-streams and in more than 75% of the cases, it is directly sent to a municipal treatment plant. More than 88% of the companies do not even separate their liquid side-streams and only 50% of the companies do some pre-treatment on their side-streams in house.
A combination of issues have been selected by the companies as hurdles and bottlenecks that hinder valorisation of side-streams where lack of technology, space and personnel, as well as a lack of a market for final products are among the most named issues (>50% of answers).