An investigation of the Meat Technology Centre of the Institute of Food Technology (ITAL-CTC) seeks to recover the waste from the filleting process of red tilapia in the manufacture of food byproducts, and to give it, in this way, an added value, according to the Foundation for the Promotion of Research of the State of São Paulo (FAPESP).
To reduce the waste produced during the production process, sometimes leftovers are reused to generate other products and to reduce the amount of food that is thrown away.
In this sense, Eunice Yamada, scientific researcher at ITAL-CTC recognized that the fish processing industry in Brazil has been innovative in this regard, unlike producers of beef and poultry.
In the case of the fishing industry, Yamada explained that "the fish has a 20 or 25 per cent of edible meat, and the remaining 75 per cent to 80 per cent is recoverable waste material," such as heads, entrails, bones, skin and scales.
Some of these residues are used in products such as fishmeal or fertilizers. However, most of it is discarded, resulting in environmental pollution on the one hand and on the other hand, the loss of byproducts that would provide a value added product.
The scientist, along with Royal Fish Company, located in Jundiaí, São Paulo, and the professor and researcher at the Centre for Integrated Biotechnology from the University of Mogi das Cruzes, Hilsdorf Alexandre, developed the research project Adding value to the hybrid red tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) industrialization process.
The aim of this work is to recover the waste from the red tilapia filleting process for making food byproducts.
The project considers that waste such as entrails, heads and backbones can be used for the production of animal feed. From the backbone, for example, “the flesh, mechanically deboned meat, is obtained for the manufacture of surimi," pointed out Yamada.
"With the flesh and muscles restructured products will be developed and with the remains from the filleting process, canned tilapia cubes can be manufactured for the market," he added.
"The reuse of the filleting process leftovers to obtain other products rationalizes the use of raw materials, which, consequently, reduces production costs. Besides, the range of products from tilapia offered in the market can be widened and the consumption of a source of high quality protein can be promoted," the researcher explained.
Hilsdorf highlighted that apart from generating fish by-products, the project aims to evaluate the acceptability of red tilapia among Brazilian consumers.
Hilsdorf explained that before the step of adding value to the red tilapia filleting process, several crosses were made between the two strains of Nile tilapia to obtain a genetically improved strain of tilapia.
After four years of work undertaken with the support of FAPESP through its Small Business Innovative Research (PIPE) programme, Hilsdorf and his team achieved a hybrid with the characteristics they were looking for.
The research project of the zootechnical and genetic assessment of the strains of the Nile tilapia to establish a mass production programme of a hybrid was also performed in association with the company Royal Fish.
Now, after getting the technological product, the goal is to add value to the production process.
By Silvina Corniola