By Agbaji Chinedu
Snail meat is becoming a valued delicacy locally and internationally because of its high protein content and low in cholesterol. The demand for snail for both local and export from Nigeria to Europe, America and Asia is now very lucrative business. Snail is a commodity highly demanded by Nigerians and African restaurants abroad.
Snail is a source of protein and there are different kinds of snail but not all of them are good and healthy stock for framing and human consumption. However, most of the popular specie is archatina marginata, archatina archatina, helixpomatia and helix aspersa. The first two species are usually helical in nature and generally small. Though commercial snail farming is a viable business as a result of demand for matured snail, the subject of this article would centre on the processing and packaging of snails alone.
WHY SNAIL PROCESSING AND PACKAGING BUSINESS
Snail packaging is a business that processes snails for commercial and retailing purposes. The peculiar challenge of snail food lovers who battle with the cleaning of snails before it is cooked, grilled or fried for consumption are taken care by a snail processing and packaging company. Farm gate Foods at Arepo Town Ogun State is a very good example of Agribusiness firm into snail processing and packaging (Oven Dried Snail).
The purpose of this one stop shop solution is to provide hygienically prepared snails packaged in high quality materials of various kilogram sizes at affordable prices for the convenience and pleasure of customers.
To be the one stop shop of tasty, quality and hygienically prepared and packaged snails for all consumers at the most affordable rates and convenience.
THE MARKET FOR PROCESSED SNAIL
The market is large super stores such as shop rit,NEXT SHOP, Ebeano,Hotels,Joints,Gardens, fast food restaurants such as Genesis fast food, The promise, Tantalizers, corporate parties such as wedding, naming/ birthday celebration .etc will be your regular customers. They will only need your assurance of regular supply per week. There is also good market for snail meat in the international market if only you can do a good packaging. You can make millions of naira from this vast and inexhaustible market. Snail farmers are making huge profit as the global demand for the delicacy increases. In Nigeria the prices of raw, matured snails goes for N350 to N600.Depending on the size.
HOW TO PROCESS AND PACKAGE SNAIL
Snail meat must be processed with care to increase the marketability. There are different ways to process snail meat for both local and international market. Below are the steps to take:-
• The snail should be starved for about 24 hours in other to empty their stomach.
• Prepare enough quantity of water by boiling at greater than 70 degrees centigrade and transfer into a bucket or drum.
• Add enough lumps of alum (potassium or ammonium aluminum sulphate)
• Transfer the snails into hot water and cover up immediately, After 5 to 10 minutes.
• Open the lid and pour off the resulting dirty from the hot water, Cool under running tap, With ease, shake off each snail from its shell into clean, cool water
• Remove offal. wash in two changes of clean cool water
The packaging can be done in two ways for both local and international market.
• CELLOPHANE: The processed snail can be packaged in a cellophane bag refrigerated before marketing
• SUN DRY/CABINET DRYER: You can dry your snail with sun or cabinet dryer to remove the moisture content before marketing, this must be done neatly. Cabinet dryer is most recommended for commercial purpose.
Raw material (Snail)
Water and Alum
Washing Drum or big plastic bow
Registration of company and with other Agency
Dryer optional (Oven Dryer with Gas/Charcoal/Electric)
The return on investment is high as the demand is grow by day because it is a white meat and is highly nutritious. The raw material which is snail is rightly available in Nigeria in large quantity as many people are now into snail farming. You can as well contact us for grown snail, packaging materials and Oven Dryer for processing and packaging.
Agbaji chinedu writes from Kaduna, can be contacted on: 08035004617