Cold Storage

India is the second largest producer of fish in the world after China and accounts for nearly 6% of global fish production. The fish production in India is likely to cross 12 million tonnes by 2015 from the current level of about 9.3 million tonnes.

India’s seafood industry has become one of the leading suppliers of quality seafood to all the major markets of the world. India has world class seafood processing plants that follow quality control regimes complaint to stringent international regulatory requirements. The export earnings in 2013-14 had reached an all time high of US $ 5 billion (about Rs.30213 crore). Vannamei shrimp, black tiger shrimp, cuttlefish, lobster, clams, fish fillets and squid are the major products for export.

There is a huge scope for investments in marine fish processing sector, cold storages and export of coastal fish for the private sector as it holds vast, untapped marine resources with a great export potential.

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Fish Cold Storages

Once fish is frozen, it must be stored at a constant temperature of −23 °C (−10 °F) or below in order to maintain a long shelf life and ensure quality. A large portion of fresh fish is water. Because the water in fish contains many dissolved substances, it does not uniformly freeze at the freezing point of pure water. Instead, the free water in fish freezes over a wide range of temperature, beginning at approximately −2 °C (28 °F). The amount of remaining free water decreases until the product reaches a temperature of approximately −40 °C. Fish held below that temperature and packaged so as not to allow water loss through sublimation can be stored for an indefinite period. Unfortunately, there are relatively few commercial freezers capable of storing fish at -40° because of the tremendous variation in energy costs. Fish are therefore 3 normally stored at −18 to −29 °C (0 to −20 °F), resulting in a variable shelf life ranging from a few weeks to almost one year.

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General Layout

A production cold store is usually a part of the fish processing plant for storing frozen finished products. Bulk cold stores normally give the same service as production cold stores, but are often located at some distance from the actual processing industries and are normally much larger than the production stores which cater to the needs of other processing plants also for storing frozen sea foods on custom hiring basis.

Capacity of cold stores normally ranges between 1,000 MT and 10000 MT. However, the size of the cold store depends on a number of factors like amount of traffic, average storage period, number of articles, as well as the number of clients.