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We've perfected and modernised traditional drying techniques to create our delicious, healthy dog treats. Find out how we do it.
Fish is an extremely perishable item and requires preservation if it is to be suitable for future use. Several preservation methods are used around the world to ensure the fish will be of a very high quality in the coming months and years. The aim of all these methods is the same, to extend shelf-life. One of these preservation methods is drying, which is the oldest known method of preserving perishable food items including fish. The Vikings introduced the drying of fish into the UK around 1,200 years ago in the 9th Century AD.
The term “drying” ‘is actually the “dehydration’’ of a food product and involves removal of water content from the fish body. Drying fish can take several days, but by doing so we keep proteins and intrinsic nutritional properties intact. This drying process is practiced under controlled operational parameters like air temperature, relative humidity, air velocity etc. Our practice is to dry fish in an enclosure provided with facilities to control these parameters and guarantee that no outside contamination will be allowed.
Our first step along the process is to source high quality fish and fish co-products. Most of the fish we source comes right off the docks here in Grimsby, but we also source from other corners of the UK like Scotland, Bridlington and Anglesey.
At this point we’ll carefully fold or twirl our handmade products into shape while the skin is fresh and wet. If we’re creating products like our Fish Skin Cubes or Fish Finger Skins, we press lots of the wet skins into boxes that are then frozen into blocks ready for cutting into the required shapes.
The products are then laid out onto trays and put onto racks into the dryer where warm air will be gently circulated to extract the moisture from the skins, leaving a tough, nutritionally dense treat. We monitor the temperature and the moisture level of the skins carefully throughout the process to ensure they come out just right.
All that’s left after that is to pack them up and send them off to our customers. It’s a simple process that requires great raw materials, care and attention, all of which we have in abundance here at Skipper’s.