Scottish fish processor Macrae Foods Fraserburgh reported that the most technologically advanced salmon primary processing line in the UK is now operational at its facilities.

The £2m (US$3.7m) investment – part of an overall £5.4m upgrade programme – involved a £1.2m capital spend on building work, with a further £800,000 allocated towards the purchase of advanced processing technology, including an innovative waste removal system that does not require water, the company said.

The computer-controlled main processing line was supplied by Icelandic firm Marel, with automated de-heading and filleting equipment provided by US company Pisces. The new facility provides significant quality and fillet yield improvements, with the amount of manual handling of the fish greatly reduced.

Work is currently underway on the construction of a new extension to the value-added processing area for products such as canapés, roulades, wraps and party foods, which will create the largest ‘deli’ department in the UK, the company continued.

In a separate programme, Macrae Fraserburgh is also looking to develop the most highly automated salmon packing operation in the world. This will involve working closely with existing equipment suppliers to design a new process that will be unique to Macrae.