Caviar. (Photo: Stock File)
Trout caviar developed
Thursday, August 15, 2013, 03:50 (GMT + 9)
Researchers around the world are constantly looking for alternative species to sturgeon with which they can produce caviar, a gastronomic delicatessen having high commercial value. Due to the fact that sturgeon is overfished and endangered, caviar is increasingly expensive and inaccessible to consumers.
In the search for sturgeon caviar substitutes, a team of Brazilian scientists decided to study the rainbow trout eggs.
This research was joined by São Paulo Agency for Agribusiness Technology (APTA), the Ministry of Agriculture and Supply of São Paulo State, through the Fisheries Institute (IP-APTA), and the Unit of Research and Field Development of Jordão.
Trout caviar is comprised of between 6 per cent and 8 per cent of total lipid, protein of between 24 per cent and 27 per cent, and a caloric content of about 180 calories per 100 grams of eggs.
According to IP-APTA researcher, Neuza Sumico Takahashi, trout roe have a fatty acid profile that is quite homogeneous, as saturated fatty acids, -- of about 21 per cent --, monounsaturated ones – of 34 per cent--, polyunsaturated (PUFA) ones of omega-6 family – reaching 15 per cent -- and polyunsaturated ones of the omega-3 family – amounting to 22 per cent -.
The most important fatty acids from the functional point of view are the highly unsaturated ones such as EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), with 6 per cent, and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), with approximately 12 per cent, APTA reported.
Takahashi clarified that these values may experience slight changes, depending on the age, size of the trout and the time of the year when the eggs were collected.
Another attraction of the trout caviar is the price to the consumer.
While 100 grams of imported caviar ranges from BRL 480 (USD 209) to BRL 1,500 (USD 653), about 40 grams of trout caviar can cost BRL 20 (USD 8.7).
"Caviar has small eggs with intense flavour and smell of the sea. The replacement has larger eggs and delicate taste and smell," stated Thais Machado Moron, IP-APTA researcher.
Caviar trout can be produced with eggs having a yellow, gold or salmon colour.
Machado conducted an investigation to determine the market potential of the new caviar. He went to restaurants in the town of Campos do Jordão, who showed interest in using this product.
"Some have already used the trout caviar produced by some producers in an artisanal way," he pointed out.
Anyway, scientists intend to have the technology "later this year," Machado added.
According to the data provided by the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, caviar and the imported substitutes are basically consumed in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
In 2011, 457 kg of caviar and substitutes was imported, and in 2010, 6,931 kg was imported, that is to say, there was a 758 per cent increase.
Besides, until April 2011, 864 kg of caviar and substitutes was imported: 166 kg by São Paulo and 698 kg by Rio de Janeiro.
At present, most trout farmers in the country are family-type agricultural entrepreneurs.
Yara Aiko Tabata, APTA scientist, considers the economic sustainability of this activity depends on the use of technology that provides an increase in productivity and diversification of value-added products.
By Analia Murias