Fish sausage formula spears meat alternatives

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Russia

Russian fish consumption is rising as consumers turn to healthier,
safer and cheaper alternatives to meat, but with good quality fish
products hard to come by in some parts of the vast country, a new
fish sausage formula created by food scientists in Krasnodar could
be the answer to meeting this growing demand.

Russians eat around 11 kg of fish products every year, according to data from the Agriconsult consultancy, and are expected to increase their consumption by around 1 kg per person in 2005. In contrast, the poor state of the Russian farm sector has led to a drastic shortfall in meat production - 55 per cent over the last 10 years, according to the National Meat Association - and per capita consumption is now just 42 kg compared to 70 kg in 1990.

But much of the fish consumed in Russia is done so in regions such as Murmansk or the Russian Far East, where seafood products are widely available, and the trick to generating real growth will be to offer quality fish products to those parts of Russia where consumption levels are currently low.

This was the reasoning behind the creation of a new fish sausage recipe created by food scientists from the department of fish and meat product technology at the Kubani State Institute for Technology in southern Russia.

The recipe, which contains not only fish but vegetables such as carrot, potato and onions, and is flavoured with spices, can be adapted for all types of fish - sea, lakes or rivers - allowing companies to tailor their products to local supplies and demand without any significant increase in costs.

Professor Gennadii Kasianov, one of the team of food scientists behind the fish sausage, told​ that the best science was science with a practical application.

"We have patented a number of meat-based, some of which have already been licensed to food manufacturers in the Krasnodar region. At this point we do not have a buyer for the fish sausage recipe, but we are advertising it through the Krasnodar Centre for Scientific and Technological Information and we hope to find an interested company very soon."

For RUR12,000 (€330), food manufacturers can buy the recipe, information on the production technology required to make it, and the rights to produce and market the sausages. The estimated average price for the finished sausage will be around RUR80 per kilogram, although the price will vary according to which variety of fish is used.

The scientists also stressed the nutritional qualities of the fish sausage - an increasingly important element for many food and drink products as Russian consumers follow their counterparts in the west down the healthy eating route - placing particular emphasis on its high amino acid content.

But with 130.6 Kcal per 100 grams, the fish sausage has roughly the same calorie content as a meat-based equivalent, the scientists added.

Related topics: Meat, fish and savory ingredients

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