By Mike Urch, SeafoodSource contributing editor
Published on 06 January, 2013
With the advent of aquaculture, salmon is becoming a more common constituent of world menus. It is now even more popular than cod in the U.K., according to one survey.
Of course, like other species, it is increasingly being purchased in convenient form such as specific cuts or portions, and the manufacture of equipment to process salmon in such forms is now big business.
As always at this time of year, a wide selection of the latest developments in salmon processing technology will be demonstrated at the Marel Salmon Showhow. The world’s largest event devoted entirely to salmon, this will be held early next month (February 6) in the premises of the company’s salmon division in Nørresundby, Denmark.
It will feature displays and live demonstrations of new machines, including standalone units, in the company’s 500 square meter showroom where staff will be on hand to run the equipment and talk to customers about it.
The focus at the event will be on complete integrated processing lines, according to Michael Hjortshøj, product marketing manager. “We will show complete lines rather than single units,” he said. “We will show how they would look in a processing factory. We will offer advice on how a line can be introduced.
“The showhow is a window to show our latest equipment; delegates will always see something new. This year will see the world premiere of our I-slice 3300 for making retail packs of sliced fresh smoked salmon. By fresh we are referring to the temperature of the products to be at or around 0 degrees [Centigrade].
“The slicer can deliver fixed weight slices and a fixed number of slices on each board, or fixed weight boards (with a variable number of slices). The slicer is not yet on the market and will not be available until after the show,” he added.
This will be the 12th consecutive year that the event is taking place and while the emphasis will be on people attending from processing companies in northern Europe, there will be executives coming from Japan, the USA, Chile and Brazil. “And even New Zealand this year,” Hjortshøj said.
He adds that Marel doesn’t pay for their travel or hotel, which is a good indication of how delegates value the occasion, although most combine attendance with other business, of course.
Marel expects about 200 executives from salmon processors to attend the Salmon ShowHow and there will also be about 100 of the company’s own staff present. “We have a wide sales and distribution network in 25 countries,” said Hjortshøj. “So these staff will come here to meet their customers.”
In addition to showcasing processing developments, every year guest speakers are invited to the showhow to address topics relevant to the salmon industry. As of late December, Hjortshøj said the speakers had not yet been confirmed for this year.
The salmon showhow will comprise a full day for delegates and networking will play an important part.
“We create a nice environment for business networking where some of the world’s leading producers of wild and farmed salmon can gather to meet, discuss and experience the latest technological developments in the industry,” said Hjortshøj.
The future for salmon processing Hjortshøj said is more automation with an increase in weighing and scanning. The aim is to get a good product with high value.
This has to be the right attitude for making salmon more popular. The latest edition of the reLAKSation newsletter states that salmon consumption in the U.S. stands at less than a kilo per head per year so there is plenty of scope to encourage people to eat more.
However, to get consumers to eat more salmon, it has to be presented to them in the way that they want. The salmon showhow may provide ideas on how that can be achieved.