Russian single frozen APO fillets to defeat Chinese “denaturated” product

December 22, 2008 16:12
Chinese pollock fillets producers working on the Russian raw material tend to minimize the product price by means of manipulations with protein and product weight, Mikhail Kostenets from Allimpex-Kamchatka wrote at the Russian-language forum of (

Buying raw pollock in the Russian Far East at RUB34.00 per kilo (plus transport expenses of at least RUB8.00 per kilo) the Chinese processors use double freezing, which is fraught with the loss of 30% from the original product weight.

According to Kostenets, for compensation of the weight loss they use state-of-the-art nano and biotechnologies and as a result the product proper will account only for 25% of the total versus 80% typical for 20%-glazed product. It is claimed that the Chinese specialists allegedly use at least four techniques for protein and weight restitution. After going through these manipulations the final product will practically lack the natural flavours, says Kostenets.

Russian alternative

Kostenets thinks that single frozen pollock from the Russian Far East is a good alternative to the Chinese products. For instance, Allimpex-Kamchatka plant operating on fresh material has the capacity of producing one container of pollock fillets per day without phosphates, PBO, single frozen, 5% glazing with the production cost of RUB55.00 per kilo. Considering the price of raw pollock exported to China it seems inexplicable how the Chinese producers miraculously manage to charge RUB57.00 per kilo for their final produce with 20% glazing.

As for the future, the situation is greatly dependent on seafood's Technical Regulations pending in the State Duma Lower House) as applicable to the fishery industry and designed to set standards for the products and protect both the sector and the consumer from poor quality and unfair competition. Kostenets explains that the cost structure for fillet production is very simple and the same for all countries, it includes resource fees, vessel cost, landing cost multiplied by yield rate of 24.5-32.0%, processors' wages, overheads such as packaging, electric power, water, maintenance personnel wages and amortization.

Kostenets says that on the wholesale side the players should rather focus on marketing campaign than on lower product prices. He thinks it the most sensible to sell portion fillets in bags or vacuum packs from 300 to 1050 grams. Consumers will certainly appreciate the fine taste of freshfrozen fillets which may become a traditional product as they may be sold at affordable prices of RUB70.00-80.00 per 450-gram pack of pollock fillets with thin glaze. The price of breaded pollock fillets may be even lower. However, in order to get these sales off the ground it is necessary to buy direct from those producers who have immediate access to raw fish, concluded Kostenets.

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