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Hailia launches innovation to maximise fish by-product utility
FoodBev Media

FoodBev Media

25 January 2024

Hailia launches innovation to maximise fish by-product utility

Hailia, a Finnish food company, is transforming overlooked by-products of the fish industry into popular seafood products suitable for both household cooking and commercial use. Through smarter utilisation of the edible parts of fish, Hailia empowers fish processors to enhance the value of their available raw materials. The innovation by Hailia facilitates a greater utilisation of fish by-products in food production, redirecting them from lower-value applications. The company has effectively expanded the application of their production method from underutilised small pelagic fishes to a broader range of by-products within the fishing industry. Currently, over 30% of the annual European fish production, surpassing five billion kilograms is underutilised in low-value applications. This inefficient use of fish resources is a key concern to Hailia, especially in the face of global risks to fish stocks due to overfishing and the growing environmental impact of fish farming. Additionally, the demand for seafood is expected to double by 2050. Hailia's approach addresses these challenges by maximising the use of fish resources and contributing to a more sustainable and efficient fishing industry. Michaela Lindström, managing director of Hailia, said:  "More food that is healthy for people and the planet can be produced with what we already have. Considering the planetary limitations, a lot could already be achieved if we primarily adopted resource-conscious practices. Fortunately, this opens immense opportunities in profitability too... With our innovative process, we can efficiently capture all that is suitable for food production." Enhancing the value of side streams into valuable food products, such as chunks, bites, strips and patties is certainly a financial incentive for fish processors and seafood producers, but beyond that Hailia's innovation not only enhances efficiency and adds value the product also has excellent structural qualities. The resulting texture is reminiscent of a cooked fish fillet and delivers a mouthfeel that authentically captures the essence of fish. Otto Kaukonen, CTO of Hailia, explained: “The core of our innovation is in turning overlooked raw materials into products with a desirable mouthfeel, using just a simple recipe with a few ingredients.” The product's structure enables seamless processing and integration into a variety of recipes, spanning from soups and sandwich fillings to pastas and sauces.

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