Unlike cheese and chocolate manufacturing, shrimp farming is not commonly associated with Switzerland. Yet, Europe’s largest shrimp farm is located in Rheinfelden, Switzerland. There, SwissShrimp AG uses the enormous amount of waste heat produced by the nearby Swiss Salt Works in their brine evaporation process to heat 16 large indoor pools and farm Pacific White Shrimp (Litopenaeous Vannamei) on a large scale.
«Our production is completely transparent and we do not use antibiotics in our manufacturing process», says Michael Siragusa, technical manager and co-founder of the company, summarizing a key value proposition of the SwissShrimp brand and the premium shrimp he and his team produce. «Also, we do not deepfreeze our shrimp but send them to our customers in Switzerland within 24 hours in dedicated cooling boxes that we developed ourselves.»
Maintaining such high quality standards is only possible because of the sophisticated purification of the seawater the shrimp are grown in. The complete volume of 16 large indoor pools with a length of 40 meters, a width of 5 meters and a depth of 60 cm each is purified 20 times every day using state of the art biological, chemical, and physical filters.
Siragusa and his team measure about 15 ions altogether on a fully automated ion chromatography system from Metrohm. Efficiency is the key benefit of this solution: «If we did the same measurements with a different method, e.g., by photometry, it would take the whole day to perform them, every day», says Michael Siragusa. The seawater of each of the eight water cycles of the facility is measured on a daily basis. Keeping a close eye on the toxic parameters – ammonium, nitrite and nitrate – is vital. These substances result from feeding the shrimp and have to be removed from the water; threshold values must not be exceeded. Michael Siragusa stresses that he is very happy with his Metrohm IC system and the support he gets from Metrohm Switzerland and their application experts.