Keeping fish fresh with slurry ice

For the fishing industry, rapid and efficient cooling of the catch is essential. The Icelandic producer KAPP builds and delivers slurry ice machines to the entire world. For this application, Vörukaup, BITZER PARTNER in Iceland, supplies BITZER ECOLINE tandem compressors

Iceland is traditionally a fishing nation, and the Icelandic people therefore know all about how to keep fish fresh. The service provider for the marine and commercial industry KAPP puts this knowledge to good use by developing a technology building on slurry ice that considerably extends the number of days fish stays fresh.

Slurry ice is a mixture of seawater and ice, which is fluid enough to completely enwrap the fish and cool it down within an hour. The quick cooling process increases the shelf life of the fish and minimises the formation of microbacteria. In this way, the fish keeps its shape and is fresh when it reaches the end consumer.

Freyr Friðriksson, Chairman of the Board at KAPP, explains:

Our focus is on keeping the temperature as low as possible throughout the production process. The slurry ice is produced and processed on board the ship directly from the seawater, and then pumped over the fish from a hose. It couldn’t be simpler or safer. With the slurry ice technology, we can help the fishing industry extend the shelf life of fish by five to seven days.’

In a recent project, KAPP was asked to come up with a solution for a fishing company who needed a land-based installation that could process 300 tons of fish per hour. The initial temperature of the fish is about 4°C when it arrives at the fish factory and the goal was to take it under 0°C as fast as possible.

Slurry ice technology was the right choice for this project and KAPP’s solution was therefore the OptimICE® BP-140. The OptimICE is a variable solution that can be used on both land and vessel installations. It has an output ranging from 1.780 L/h with 40% ice concentration to 3.650 L/h with 10% ice concentration.

In order to cope with the large number of fish that needed to be processed, KAPP delivered four land-based units of OptimICE BP-140 slurry machines. The four land-based units were also accompanied by reservoirs – in this case, four storage tanks. Each tank can deliver several cubic metres of slurry ice per hour. The company also bought two OptimICE slurry ice machines for their vessels. With the OptimICE, the temperature of the fish reaches -0.7°C within an hour and stays at that temperature for the whole production time.

Each slurry ice machine is equipped with a BITZER ECOLINE tandem 66FE-88Y-40P compressor with factory-mounted CRII, VARISTEP capacity control, Delta-PII and crankcase heater on both compressors, as well as a BITZER horizontal receiver F562N. The units for the vessels are additionally equipped with a seawater-cooled BITZER horizontal condenser K1973TB.

The BITZER components were delivered by the Icelandic BITZER partner Vörukaup, which is a leading wholesaler in the refrigeration industry for the Icelandic market. They also supported the development of the OptimICE® BP-140 with technical support for the cooling application. Emil Hechmann, sales engineer at Vörukaup, is very happy about this project. He is delighted to see that a little country like Iceland can attract customers from the entire world:

‘Iceland has many years of experience in cooling down fish, and with the slurry ice machine, KAPP has made a great contribution to technological development in that area.’

KAPP has successfully sold this solution all over the world for more than 20 years, making slurry ice one of the most efficient ways of keeping fish fresh throughout the distribution chain. BITZER, together with KAPP and Vörukaup, is therefore a part of the global solution when it comes to bringing fresh fish to your table.

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