How does the production of sturgeon take place in Småland?
How is sustainable rum produced in Småland? Firstly, there is no fish slaughter, but the sturgeon females are milked on their precious rum. To know when it is time, each fish is scanned a couple of times a year with an ultrasound device. It is the same equipment that is used in maternity care for expectant mothers. The fish keeper very quickly places a small sensor over the fish's belly and can then read the degree of maturity in general on the rum grains. The fish is then lifted up in a net and placed in a padded cradle. Fish keepers hold the tail and front parts of the fish so that no one, neither the fish nor the keepers, gets hurt. The scan only takes a few seconds and then the fish are put back into the pools.
As harvest day approaches, the fish are cooled down a bit to replicate winter in the wild. The pool temperature then drops from around +18 degrees to around +9 to +10 degrees Celsius. The temperature change takes place in steps. The fish then ideally stays in cold water for around two months. In the cold water, the fish go to sleep and they do not eat. In this way, the fish is cleaned in the cold water, any off-flavours on the rum disappear and any lumps of fat in the rum sac are reduced. The rum grains must be as clean as possible on the day of production. Before production, the temperature is changed back to "warm season". This means that the water temperature is raised in a couple of steps over a few days from winter temperature back to summer temperature. Then the fish feels that "it's time" and releases its rum more easily.
On the day of production, the fish are lifted into the padded cradle in the same way. The fish keepers gently massage or milk the rum grains out of each fish. The procedure takes up to a few minutes per individual.
The fish keepers then go directly over with the rum grains to the food department next door. We are talking about a distance of 50 meters, so no time difference arises. There, a preparation process approved by the Swedish Food Agency takes place. A number of steps are included that differ slightly depending on the product version. But the rum grains are cleaned of dirt residues from the inside of the fish that are included, they are rinsed, allowed to drain and finally salted. A lighter heat treatment and cooling is included in most cases. The processed rum is then placed in large vacuum-sealed glass containers and stored in coolers with slightly sub-zero temperatures. A minimal storage time is needed for the caviar to mature and the flavors to emerge. At least two weeks are required for this, but preferably longer. The whole process from milking the fish until the rum grains have gone down into the vacuum-sealed packaging in the coolers usually takes a maximum of 60 minutes, usually less.
After orders, packaging takes place in consumer containers (glass or metal cans) and various labels are affixed to the cans in question.
Then the cans are sent out to the buyers in suitable transport boxes that maintain the temperature.