The Minister of Fisheries, Luiz Sérgio de Oliveira, in the opening ceremony of the plant in Itarema. (Photo: MPA)
Shrimp waste processing plant opened
Friday, October 21, 2011, 23:00 (GMT + 9)
The Technology Development Park (Padetec) and the company Montairo Pescado developed and mounted a pilot plant that converts shrimp shells into high value products.
The plant is located in Itarema, on the west coast of Ceará, and according to the superintendent of Padetec, Afrânio Craveiro, it represents a milestone in the national shrimp production.
This initiative was supported by the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture (MPA), the Northeast Bank of Brazil and by Polymar Industria y Comercio Ltd.
This plant will be able to take advantage of shrimp waste, transforming it into high value added products such as biopolymers (chitin and chitosan).
The plant has the capacity to process three tonnes of waste per day, that is to say, about 100 tonnes per month, according to MPA.
To Craveiro, this pilot unit will serve as a model to follow by other shrimp-producers in the country.
According to the Brazilian Association of Shrimp Breeders (ABCC), in 2010 the production of shrimp in captivity reached 80,000 tonnes. And for this year it is expected to reach an estimated production of 90,000 tonnes, a figure similar to that recorded in 2003.
"If all this production is fully processed, we're talking about 30,000 tonnes of contaminating waste, which poses a problem for the sector as to its discarding," stated Craveiro.
Chitosan is a biopolymer derived from shrimp shells, which has many applications, especially in the functional food industry.
Currently, Brazil has the potential to produce about 600 tonnes of chitosan, which is enough to supply the local market.
The export of this production would amount to approximately USD 10.8 million.
By Analia Murias