Benefits and Steps to Make Fish Meal
Description: the fish meal is an important part in agriculture and farming. Here are the benefits and how to make it.
Farmers and livestock owners around the world are familiar with fish meal. This product is made by processing large numbers of fish, resulting in a high-protein brown powder. Manufacturers often use fish that are considered waste, and they sell the results to farmers and pet food manufacturers.
Benefits of Fish Meal
Making fish meal is an easy method to process waste fish from fishermen’s nets. The resulting product has high protein amount, which can reach 70 percent. There is also 10 to 20 percent of mineral contents, with a little fat and water.
Fish meal is used to feed fish and farm animals, such as chickens and ducks. They are great to boost the growth of farm animals. They are also used in the making of pet foods, and even as fertilizer.
The Making of Fish Meal
Manufacturers use several steps to make fish meal, which are:
The cooking process is important to release as much oil, protein, and water (“liquor”) as possible. Overcooking or undercooking will ruin the extraction process when the fish is pressed. Some manufacturers use a long cooking cylinder, while others use steam injection method.
The pressing process is done to remove excess oil and water and turn the fish into “press cakes.” Manufacturers usually use a type of perforated tube that press the fish and release the liquid from the holes.
This step is done to recover the nutritional values of the liquor. The press cakes are screened to remove coarse materials and then centrifuged to remove excess oil and water. This oil is refined into fish oil, while the water is turned into a thick product called fish soluble.
Manufacturers may use direct or indirect drying method. The direct method uses hot air (as hot as 500 degrees Celsius), and the indirect one uses a cylinder with heated discs. The direct method is fast, but it has a bigger risk of heat damages.
The final, dried products are ground into finer powder. They are later stored to be bagged and delivered in bulks.
Each process requires a careful adjustment in various aspects. For example, in the cooking process, overcooked or undercooked fish will prevent effective liquor pressing. Mold and bacteria can grow if the drying process is not optimum. However, excessive drying can reduce the fish meal’s nutritional values.
You can make a fish meal at home using similar equipment, such as a pressing machine, dryer, and centrifuge tube. However, since bacteria and mold are common risks, it is better to purchase fish meal from the manufacturers or distributors you trust.