Tools and techniques for successfully grinding fish for tube feed formulas


Eckert J. 2015. Tools and techniques for successfully grinding fish for tube feed formulas. In Bissell H, Brooks M Eds. Proceedings of the Eleventh Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Portland, OR.


Grinding fish in a blender is very complex because the fish often need to be processed to some degree and there are many choices of blenders. Suggested blenders to use include Waring blenders of various sizes, homogenizers, or smaller, but more affordable, Magic BulletÒ or NutriBulletÒ. Using a meat grinder, chopping, filleting, skinning, and successive blending are all methods of processing the fish or other seafood to break it down for optimal blending. There are advantages and disadvantages for every blender and technique. The ratio of fish to water is also important, as enough water is needed to homogenize the formula and to make the formula fluid enough to easily glide through the various sized feeding tubes. Considerations need to be made for the size of the feeding tube, the amount of formula needed, and how much water needs to be added (generally, 70% fish to 30% water) to achieve the desired consistency and/or caloric value. With practice and properly maintained blenders, creating formulas using seafood products can become easier. Knowing which technique and tool to use is just the first step, but practicing helps to refine the skills needed to successfully grind fish for tube feed formulas.

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