Researchers find new method to convert shrimp processing waste to food

Scientists at the Philippines National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI) have found a way to process shrimps’ heads into food powder, potentially creating a new income stream for the shrimp industry.

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
14 January 2022, at 9:00am
person holding a tiger prawn
NFRDI researchers say that about 200 g of shrimp powder is produced per kilogram of shrimp heads

In a shrimp processing plant, the shrimp’s head is typically discarded along with its shells and tails. The waste makes up 50 percent of the raw material, which means almost half of the money spent goes down the drain already. Improper disposal of these wastes may cause harm to the environment due to their nutrient-rich properties.

By turning shrimp heads into powder, food processing manufacturers will not only cut down their wastage but, more importantly, earn profit from otherwise discarded materials

According to Rosa Bassig, Senior Science Research Specialist of the Fisheries Postharvest Research and Development Division of NFRDI, about 200 g of powder is produced per one kilogram of fresh shrimp heads. Not bad for business, considering that what would have been just a waste was converted into something valuable. The powder can be used as shrimp flavour seasoning, seafood broths, or soups, among others. Moreover, it has a storage life of up to six months when stored at 28-30°C based on a study published in The Philippine Journal of Fisheries.

This technological development contributes to the world’s battle against food and processing wastage while providing income and livelihood for fish processing industries.

Read the full study in The Philippine Journal of Fisheries.