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Processed Seafood

A General Overview
Seafood production have steadily increased and seafood have become familiar and appreciated all around the world, even in regions located far from the sea. For many years, the increase of production was due to better catching techniques, bigger boats and gears and to the exploitation of new fishing grounds. While seafood consumption in many nations was once largely dependent on locally captured or cultured species, the development of freezing and rapid transport by rail, truck, and air have made a variety of seafoods available throughout developed nations. Fresh salmon often is as readily available in areas distant from the ocean as in locations where the fish are captured.

Seafood Industry
Seafood industry is growing at a tremendous pace which is reflected in the growth in exportation of fish and seafood products. There is also a consistent pattern of growth in value-added fish and seafood products for export. The processing and marketing of fish harvested from the wild account for the majority of the industry’s products.

However, the global seafood sector, is undergoing significant change as pressures converge from diminishing supply, increasing demand, environmental changes and regulations, and geopolitical events.

Seafood Production

  • Seafood when produced for not any commercial purpose then it is known as Fishing.
  • While farming of fresh water and saltwater organisms.
  • Mariculture refers to aquaculture practiced in marine environments. Aquaculture production is the fastest growing primary sector at present, and growth is expected to continue maintaining growth in fisheries production overall, albeit it at a much slower rate.
  • Particular kinds of aquaculture include algaculture (the production of kelp/seaweed and other algae); fish farming; shrimp
    farming, shellfish farming, and the growing of cultured pearls.

Seafood consists of an extensive variety of sea animals and sea weed which are served as a delicacy or is regarded as suitable for the purpose of eating.

Seafood usually comprise mostly of seawater animals, such as fish and shellfish (including mollusks and crustaceans). But in many parts of the term seafood is also used collectively to refer to animals from fresh water and as also any other kind of edible aquatic animals. This category makes up the bulk of the human food that comes from the waters of the world.

Under this classification, edible seaweed is also included, though it is specifically termed as sea vegetables.


Types of Seafood
Seafood is categorized under three main classes: Fish, Shellfish and Roe.

  • Fish is any non-tetrapod chordate, i.e., an animal with a backbone, that has gills throughout life and has limbs, if any, in the shape of fins. Few of the fishes which are regarded as edible are Anchovy, Bluefish, Catfish, Eel, Flounder, Grouper, Herring, Kingfish, John Dory, Lingcod, Monkfish , Orange Roughy, Pomfret, Salmon, Tilapia, Tuna, Wahoo, etc.
  • Shellfish are aquatic invertebrates used as food: molluscs, crustaceans, and echinoderms. Both saltwater and freshwater invertebrates are considered shellfish. Molluscs commonly used as food include the clam, mussel, oyster, winkle, and scallop. Few crustaceans commonly eaten are the shrimp, prawn, lobster, crayfish, and crab.
  • Roe is the fully ripe egg masses of fish and certain marine animals, such as sea urchin, shrimp and scallop. As a seafood it is used both as a cooked ingredient in many dishes and as a raw ingredient. Caviar is a name for processed, salted roe consumed as a delicacy. Other forms include Ikura (salmon Roe), Kazunoko (Herring Roe), Lumpfish Roe, Masago (Capelin Roe), Shad Roe, Tobiko (Flying-Fish Roe), etc.
Processing Of Seafood
Several socio-economic factors, including urbanization, women going out to work and changes in family structures, have contributed to major modification in the demand for food products. The concentration of people in cities, as it increases the time spent on transport between home and working places, has drastically modified their time utilisation schedule. The greater involvement of housewives in professional activities has had major effects to improve households income, and to reduce the time available for traditional home tasks including cooking. This factor has boosted the demand for processed food products including processed variety of seafood. The demand generation is reflected in an increased sale of fillets, steaks, fried mixed fish, small sized fish at the expenses of whole larger fish.

Till recently processing of seafood products depended on very simple methods, primarily on the knifes and salt and therefore, fishermen had to go fishing with salt on the boats. As a result, the qualities and the quantities of the catches were usually poor. It often happened that the seafood would get rotten before reaching consumers in cities due to backward storage facilities. However, with the emergence of modern processing techniques, these former salted products have been replaced by frozen or cold stored products; the big package by small package; and the glass container by the soft tin container.

The development of processed convenience seafood has followed the trend of modernized kitchens and it has also diversified the offer of seafood with a multiplication of different products from the same basic seafood. For instance from a yellowfin tuna one can have a variety of canned tuna salads (Mexican, American, Niçoise, etc.), canned tuna in brine or in oil, frozen steaks, fresh loins, sashimi and others.

A multi-variety processing system has been formulated in which fish, shrimp, mussels and algae are the main stored products. Activities of seafood processing include cold storing, freezing, drying, smoking, canning etc. The major types of processed products are categorized as follows:

  • Frozen Products
  • Fried Products
  • Smoked Products
  • Canned Products
  • Surimi Products
  • Fish Meal
  • Products made by fish oil and fish liver
  • Additives and Seasoning products
  • Medicines
  • Alga Glue
  • Art Craft (Pearl).
Quality Assurance of Seafood Processing Units
To ensure the quality of seafood, the processing enterprises in India have been strictly instructed to follow the international quality management systems, such as HACCP created by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Seafood Quality Management Criteria by Canadian Fishery and Marine Ministry and the related regulations by the European Union.

Processed Seafood Industry in the Indian Context
India's seafood industry is one of our biggest foreign exchange earners. Its turnover is around 9 billion dollars. Shrimps and lobsters rank first among India seafood because of their great value in the global market. Crab is an India seafood product which has great potential as an export commodity. It is highly in demand in the international market. There are also some value added products which are useful for export and also are quite popular in the domestic market. Surimi is minced flesh of deboned fish used in fish sausages, fish cake etc.

Most of Indian exports have gone to Japan, followed by the United Arab Emirates, USA and EU. However, Southeast Asian countries, such as, Thailand, Singapore, China (Hong Kong SAR) and Malaysia, are also important markets for Indian seafood. The increase in exports has mainly been stimulated by higher demand in the Japanese market, but also USA and the United Arab Emirates import more fish from India. The EU has been a more unstable market, as imports from India have fluctuated, but after years of decline, the exports here seemed to be on the rise again

From being a country where no imports were allowed, imports quickly increased when the borders were opened, though the level of imports is still very low. India’s imports consist primarily of fishmeal. The one other product India has been importing is hilsa from Bangladesh.

Health Benefits of Seafood
The importance of seafood in the human diet varies greatly around the world. The Japanese most of all rely on seafood for their animal protein. Japan has a fishing fleet that travels far and wide. The Japanese also purchase seafood from other nations and have a highly developed aquaculture industry. The popularity of seafood has increased in recent years because it is seen as being a healthy source of food. Many seafoods have high levels of a type of fat that is regarded as healthful by medical researchers. Salmon are an example of a fairly fatty fish that fits this category. Other species, such as halibut, are very low in fat, so they are popular with people who want to limit their daily fat intake. Cold water, deep-sea fish are particularly high in omega-3 fatty acids that help protect against many diseases such as cancer, arthritis, high blood pressure, strokes and heart disease.

Seafood consumption has increased significantly during the recent years. Many factors are associated with this increase. The availability of a wide variety of different products generically known as "seafood" and many of them being supplied by international trade, is undoubtedly a major factor for this demand growth. Two scourges of our times regarding food, hunger and obesity, can be minimized through increased consumption of seafood. Increasing further the consumption of seafood is certainly a step towards improving food security in the world.

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