By JUAN ESCANDOR JR
BULA, CamSur: With the availability and regular quantity of fish materials landed in prime condition almost whole year-round, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) is pushing the envelope further with the operation of a packing facility to push canning industry in Bicol.
Miguel B Bañez, project development officer of BFAR's post harvest unit at the Regional Fisheries Freshwater Center (RFFC) here, encourages investors to venture in fish canning with at least P4.5 million capital to yield P1.5 million profit in a month of operation tapping the services of the canning plant here.
Bañez said the P30 million canning plant the fisheries bureau operates since 2011 provides technical assistance to would-be investors, from creating recipes for canned fish to production to products' packing.
He said BFAR only asks toll packing service equivalent to 7% of the total manpower and cost of raw materials and the investors would just pick up the finished packaged products ready for sale.
Being employed in companies of known canned-fish brands since late 1980s before working with BFAR, Bañez was involved in the plant's design, fabrication of pieces of equipment and the actual fish processing and canning operation in the plant.
He said that once an investor agreed with the final recipe of the fish sauce, the production could start.
Bañez said the plant's full capacity to process and pack fish materials is five tons per day.
Combining manual and mechanical means, the plant's full operation requires 36 workers tasked in various processes of production.
Fish canning starts with the cleaning, cutting, then brining of the fish materials, after which these are filled into the cans manually and placed on the steel conveyer that stops on steamed chamber for pre-cooking.
The filled-up cans continue down the twisted conveyor where water from steaming is discharged before passing through sauce-filling machine before going to a seaming chamber to close the cans.
Once seamed, the cans are placed in large iron trays and subjected to 10-lb steam pressure in a retort chamber for further cooking, then these are incubated before labeling and storing them. – Bicol Mail