Acuinuga S.L.

Aquaculture Fish Waste Valorisation

A serious environmental problem is arising because of the generation of high volumes of waste by the fishing, aquaculture, processing and cannery industries. Mounting social pressure and an ever-increasing legal framework push for the implementation of valorization strategies for this waste. These are, in general, valuable byproducts with good nutritional value, suitable for valorization under economically sustainable operations. The heterogeneous nature of this waste, however, requires complex technological developments if the goal is to end up with a marketable, competitive final product.

From our point of view, solutions for the valorization of seafood waste must meet three well defined criteria: they must be comprehensive in nature (guaranteeing the withdrawal and valorization of the waste in full), they must be technically feasible in an industrial scale and they must be profitable operations. 

Our interest in this area derives from the increasing difficulty to source first-grade ingredients suitable for inclusion in aquaculture diets, particularly fish and squid meal and/or oil. Within the European fishing context, the volume of fish discards and the growth of the seafood processing industry clearly justify, in our opinion, the development of new processes and technologies for the maximum valorization of this waste.

We are thus working in the optimization of pioneering technology capable of preserving the original aminoacids and fatty acid profile present in the raw matters, resulting in a final product with superior nutritional qualities. Dehydration is the key phase of the process, which involves  exposure to high temperatures and low pressures during the mincing and grinding phases of the raw material. This system ensures maximum heat transfer and is very energy-efficient. The ‘flash system' denomination derives from the very short exposure time, which lasts only for a few seconds. 

Final products show a number of advantages over conventional ingredients:

  • Higher protein content
  • Higher digestibility values
  • Improved nutritional qualities (texture, viscosity, integrity)
  • Up to 40% higher oil retention compared to conventional products
  • Up to 60% higher water adsorption compared to conventional products
  • Longer shelf life
  • Improved biosafety
  • Better stabilized free fatty acids
  • Improved particle size control for most raw matters
  • Superior taste
  • AflatoxinsClostridium and dioxins elimination
  • Allow for the production of texturized proteins

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