TABLE 6-6

CAVIAR PROCESSING QUALITY CHECKPOINTS

OPERATION

WHAT IS CHECKED

METHOD AND FREQUENCY

Extraction of ovaries

Fish quality. Fish bleeding quality. Provisions to obtain intact and clean ovaries: washing off slime, intact anal vent, ovaries detached before guts, ovaries transported immediately for rinsing.

Visual. Twice per shift.

Ovaries rinsing

Water quality and temperature, light brine concentration, prescribed short duration and thoroughness of rinsing.

Visual. Thermometer.

Ovaries grading

Poor quality is outgraded and the rest is divided in batches with an equal grade. Grading by colour, size, strength and elasticity of membranes and smell.

Visual. Regularly.

Screening

Ovaries temperature is sufficiently low, absence of impurities in egg collecting baskets, cleanliness and frequent change of screens and removing of debris, volume of broken eggs.

Visual. Regularly.

Salting

Salt-preservative ratio for dry salting. Adequacy of salting time for brine salting and weight of salt to achieve desired salinity, caviar salinity. Brine concentration (density) and temperature, brine cleanliness, brine/egg ratio.

Water, salt, preservative quality.

Visual and instrumental. Scale, caviar salinity measurement instrumentation, hydrometer, thermometer. At least twice per shift.

Chemical and bacteriological analysis at the beginning of season.

Draining

Brine uptake, caviar dryness, interior egg viscosity, exterior stickiness of egg mass, dryness, temperature and cleanliness of room, air ventilation, absence of foreign smells, thickness of egg layer put for draining.

Visually, organoleptically, squeezing eggs between fingers. Every 5 minutes for sturgeon caviar and for other caviars - as necessary (1 hour to 10 hours).

As necessary.

Packing

Vegetable oil type and quality, sufficient headspace for vacuum packing, level of vacuum, container sterilization temperature, sterilization, highest sanitation standards for tools, room, people; dense filling without air cavities into the container, check weighing. Container integrity and outside cleanliness, level of vacuum.

Visually. Vacuum measuring gage. As necessary.

Pasteurization

Water temperature fluctuations, cooling water temperature, container integrity, container body cleanliness outside.

Visual. Thermometer. As necessary.

Storage

Appropriate freezing or thawing regimes, storage temperature, humidity.

Regularly. At least once in two months organoleptical trials.

General

Keeping fisheries processing records for batches by fish (for sturgeons) or by processing - packing dates (for other caviars), labelling requirements, general sanitation.

As necessary.