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How does the production of sturgeon take place in Småland?

How is sustainable roe produced in Småland? Firstly, there is no fish slaughter, instead the sturgeon females are milked on their precious roe. 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 is lifted up in a net and placed in a padded cradle, a small sensor is placed on the fish's belly, which reads the degree of maturity of the roe grains. 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 placed in cooled water 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, and any off-flavours and lumps of fat on the roe disappear. Before production, the temperature is changed back to the "spring season". This means that the water temperature is raised in a couple of steps over a few days from winter temperature back to spring temperatures. Then the fish feels that "it's time" and releases its roe more easily.

On the day of production, the fish are lifted into the padded cradle in the same way as when scanned. The fish keepers gently massage or milk the roe grains out of each fish. The procedure takes a few minutes per individual.

The fish keepers then take the roe grains directly 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 that takes place. A number of steps are included that differ slightly depending on the product version. Firstly the roe grains are cleaned of dirt residues from the inside of the fish, they are rinsed, allowed to drain and finally salted. Lighter heat treatment and cooling are included in most cases. The processed roe 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 flavours to emerge. At least two weeks are required for this, but preferably longer. The whole process from milking the fish until the roe grains have gone down into the vacuum-sealed packaging in the coolers 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.




Maps

Lagastiggatan 6
Strömsnäsbruk, 28732

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