How does a desalted codfish factory work?
Many of our website visitors are asking this question! Industrial desalting of codfish is in fact very similar to what we do at home. Desalted codfish factory is the next level in the codfish business, a 2.0 version of the original dry salted codfish.
When we buy a dry salted codfish, before we have it in the oven, we need to hydrate it and extract the excess salt. This can take a few days, which means anyone cooking dry salted codfish needs some planning ahead. It’s not a ready to cook product.
Anyhow, in a desalted codfish factory, we can divide it into 4 production phases, this will help our readers understand exactly how desalted codfish is produced in industrial facilities.
Third: Ultra freeze
Fourth: Glaze and packaging
The first phase is the cutting of the codfish. Before soaking the codfish is cut into specific size and type of pieces. The cutting is a crucial part of the process as the pieces need to be very similar in volume to guarantee an even desalting process. High tech cutting machines are usually used by desalted codfish factories to cut the codfish, using laser technology the machinery automatically guarantees a very homogeneous soaking.
What type of raw materials are used in the deslated codfish factory?
Many may think that industrially they desalt from dry salted codfish, but that is not true. The industry has made a slight change compared to what we traditionally do at home. They use mostly wet salted codfish to produce desalted. In terms of taste and texture the product is inferior to the one done traditionally, however tests have proven that for the majority of consumers this aspect is not valued. So producers have taken the cost saving way of producing desalted codfish.
The soaking phase is the most important phase in the desalted codfish factory. Everything has to be perfect to insure that the codfish pieces are soaked to the exact salt content. The pieces are graded by volume and place in baskets, these are then racked and submersed in giant water tanks. The water tanks are usually automatically programmed to water change according to the size of the pieces. Soaking codfish requires low temperatures, so a chiller is required to maintain the water at correct temperatures.
Frozen desalted codfish vs plain frozen codfish : you can taste the difference
After soaking the codfish to the correct salt content level. The fish is then dripped for excess water before the ultra-freeze stage. There are several types of ultra-freeze technology applied, each producer has adapted to the one that fits best. But in generic terms it is usual to find: tunnel systems and ultra-fast freeze room systems. The tunnel systems are a bit more efficient and better when compare to the ultra-fast freeze room system.
The final stage in a desalted codfish factory starts with the glazing of the pieces. This glaze protects the surface from drying, giving the pieces a nice glossy look. The Portuguese law limits the glazing, as do many local laws, but we can find desalted frozen codfish in the markets with 5%, 10% and even 20% glaze. This effect is the base for such a price difference between several similar looking products.
After glazing the pieces they are then ready for packaging, this can be individual or bulk. Many options are available in packaging, depends on the final consumer the HORECA channel usually looks to buy low-cost bulk packaging, while supermarket consumers have more elaborate packaging.
At NFi we offer a wide selection of desalted frozen codfish, if you require any additional information please do contact us.