To produce dried shrimp for commercial use there are certain standardization and quality control. Things that affect quality of the produce are fishing practices, personal hygiene, shrimp handling, stages of production and processing.
Industrial players include fishermen, market women, dried shrimp producers. Profit maximization involves proper processing, sourcing, quality product, effective storage, proper handling, transportation and marketing. Here is how to produce dried shrimp for commercial for commercial purposes.
General information on shrimp
Shrimps (Palaemon serratus) are marine species of elongated body decapod crustaceans. They have long whiskers, slender legs, muscular tail, and narrow bodies. They use swimmerets for a unique forward paddling motion.
Wide spread they are abundant and found in many marine habitat. Mostly found near the sea floor they are found in estuaries, lakes, rivers, sea and coastal regions Shrimps are an important part of food chain of fish and whales. In 2019 over 10 million tonnes were harvested in commercial production.
Produce dried shrimp
- Fishing method
- Shrimp handling storage
How to produce dried shrimp for commercial use
First stage of shrimp production is the fishing method. The fishing method, harvesting, handling, storage, transportation affects the quality of the shrimp.
Serious consideration is given to fishing gear, transfer of fresh shrimps and method of processing. This is important to produce high quality processed shrimp.
Once the fishermen have done their job and fish arrives at processing site sorting is done. Sorting is done to remove impurities, like dirt, fish, sand, leaves or other aquatic life from the shrimps.
Cooking together with bi-catch will adversely affect the quality, color, taste of the final product. Shrimps are sorted based on size by hand or mechanized means.
Once sorted by size the shrimps are washed thoroughly. Washing effectively removes any residual dirt or bacteria from the produce.
Cooking is done to kill enzymes, bacteria, reduce water content, and enhance color or flavor. The customer determines the saltiness of the shrimp during the cooking process. Make sure the cooking utensil is not congested and there is adequate space in the pot. Densely packed shrimp will yield poor results.
Put 6kg shrimps in 32 liters directly into already boiling water at 100 Centigrade and cook for 7 minutes. Cooking is done at high temperature for a relative short time. This is done to preserve taste, color and texture of the shrimp. Slow boiling results in poor flavor and texture.
Make sure cooking equipment are non-corrosive, easy to clean. Once the shrimps turn pink and are firm to tough with cloudy inside they are ready. During the cooking process remove scum or froth from water surface, change cooking water when applicable. Once cooked remove shrimp from water and drain.
Shrimp are dried for easier de-shelling to remove water and stop bacteria. Rural drying method involves sun drying of the produce. Local practice of drying shrimp on the ground is very dirty and unhygienic.
A producer should place the shrimp in a protective layer of mesh. Make sure the mesh tray is raised above the ground or placed on clean black plastic sheets. This will effectively prevent flies, pests or insects contaminating the shrimp.
Other drying methods are industrial heater ( dryer/dehumidifier machine0 , firewood or charcoal method. make sure salt content is not more than 7% and even dry till 20% -30% moisture content.
To avoid breakage carefully remove shell and head. Shelling is done either through mechanized method or by hand. Use a peeling machine then introduce net bag for large quantity of shrimp. Make sure the peelings is done in safe, hygienic area.
Grading and weighing
Use basket sieves to separate or grade different sizes for good consistency. This method is effective in removing leaves, stone, shell and pricing. Then weigh them and package according to specified weight.
Make sure the choice of packaging material preserves, ensures quality and protect from damage. Good packaging prevents quality deterioration, pests, moisture absorption or contamination.
Use biodegradable or recyclable material for packaging. Best packaging material are food grade polyethylene bags, plastic containers. Use transparent packaging material and add a place label with date of product and company information.
Shrimps are in high demand and there is a large local and international market. Sell to hotels, restaurants, market women neighbors or foreign markets.