One day at Conservera
We think that you, as a consumer of our preserves, should know the different steps followed in the production of our products (Andalusian mackerel, Andalusian frigate mackerel and canutera Andalusian frigate mackerel) from the time they reach our premises to the moment you receive them. That is why we will try to explain to you each and every one of the steps we carry out on our premises.
A working day starts with the arrival of the fish (Andalusian mackerel, Andalusian frigate mackerel and canutera Andalusian frigate mackerel) at our premises. We make sure that the cold chain has not been broken during transportation and that the fish arrives at a temperature of 0-4ºC if it is fresh or -18ºC if it is frozen. A random organoleptic test is carried out in order to ensure that the quality of the fish received meets the quality we demand from our suppliers. This organoleptic test is based on observing bright eyes, the fish’s colour, reddish gills, intact bone, bright skin with scales, absence of entrails inside the fish, firm abdomen, absence of unpleasant odours and, finally, absence of external parasites. As well as all this, a check for internal parasites is carried out at our laboratory in order to detect the possible presence of Anisakis.
The next step is to remove the head and entrails of both fresh and frozen fish, in this second case after it has been defrosted at our defrosting unit up to -1ºC on the bone. Then, it is washed in water baths in order to remove any remaining blood. The water used does not contain any chemicals, an important factor in our traditional production process. One of our main tenets is that we do not use any chemicals in our production process.
Next, the fish is boiled in brine. Boiling times depend on the species and their specific characteristics. Once cooked, the fish is left to drain for a while and then taken to the cold rooms. Here, the fish attains the correct firmness and temperature so that our workers can handle it adequately.
This firm fish, at a temperature of between 0 and 4ºC is taken to our workers so they can proceed with the skinning of the fish using only a knife. They choose the packaging format that is the most suitable for the size of the mackerel, frigate mackerel and canutera frigate mackerel fillets. These workers will place layers of product in the container chosen until the appropriate drained net weight is reached. This is a fully manual stage where no chemicals are used. We basically depend on the skills of our workers.
The next steps are to add oil to the tin according to its format and to close the container. At this stage, the batch is marked with the day when the product was produced at our facilities. This allows us to monitor the tracking process of the preserve at a later stage and know the following: the day when it was manufactured, the fish consignment it belongs to, when and how boiling took place, when and how sterilization was carried out, even how and when tins of the same batch have been distributed.
When a tin is closed and marked, it is then submitted to a sterilisation process: by combining pressure, time and temperature, we make our preserves free of biological contamination and so they can be eaten for up to five years later.
Now the final presentation of our product is carried out by adding a case and labels that identify it as a finished product.
After a storage time that allows the product to acquire the characteristics typical of a preserve, the finished product is then ready to go to you, the end consumer, in ideal conditions in terms of quality and taste.
Jorge García Muñoz
Quality Control and Production Manager
Industrial Conservera de Tarifa, S.A