Mega Global’s line of sardines, known all over the world for their high quality, are the product of painstaking work and technological innovations that start right from the time the fish are caught until the sardines reach customer’s tables.
Mega Global observes its trademark 12-hour catching-to-canning process to ensure the freshness of its products. It has two production plants in Zamboanga, certified to international standards. Here, it produces products under the Mega Sardines, Mega Creations, Mega Tuna, and Mega Prime Quality labels, all made using world-class equipment under the watchful eyes of well-trained workers.
Making all this possible is Mega Fishing Corporation (MFC), the fishing arm of Mega Global. Equipped with state-of-the-art sonar and fish finders, it is committed to the 12-hour Catching-to-Canning process. Through the years, the MFC fishing fleet has been instrumental in ensuring that the meticulous process is observed.
The 12-hour process starts with vigorous preparations at Mega Global’s shipping and dry dock facilities, where its 63 fishing vessels are maintained and serviced. Here, the ships are loaded with ice in preparation for the task ahead.
The work begins at sundown, when the fishing vessels head off to the fishing grounds. Using side scanning sonar technology, a sonar boat looks for a healthy fish population. Once detected, green light is used to attract the fish. Then, the catcher boat comes and lowers its nets, circling these around the school of fish.
The net is then pulled back up to the surface for loading. MFC uses the fish pump technology that allows it to shorten the loading period at zero degrees to just two minutes from one hour. Pioneered by MFC in Asia, this is an important innovation, as the quicker loading times ensure that the fish is fresher and histamine levels are kept to a minimum, resulting in better taste. This also extends the shelf life of the fish from just 2 days to 7 days. No human hands are laid on the fish, further lowering the risk of contamination.
Once the fish are on the boat, quality assurance personnel certify the quality of the fish. The fish are preserved in ice and chilled sea water in insulated bins that keep them fresh and free from contaminants.
On arrival at the fish port, the catch is mechanically unloaded using the fish pump to tanks in the holding dock, and are then transported to Mega Global’s canning plant.
The preparation of the sardines is automated and employs technology for efficient processing observing Mega Global’s highest quality standards. Once unloaded, the fish are cleaned in cold water, submerged in brine tanks, and go through the process of agitation in conveyor belts to remove scales naturally.
Workers then grade the fish according to size in preparation for further sorting. After this, the sorted fish go by a conveyor belt through a nobbing machine where the heads and tails are automatically cut, and where entrails are moved without human intervention, ensuring the sanitation of the products.
Simultaneously with this, cans are sterilized at a temperature of 85 degrees centigrade to ensure cleanliness. The fish are then put into the can using an automated process, after which the filled cans are placed in an exhaust box for precooking at a temperature of 85 degrees centigrade. The cans then pass through a magnetic decanter for dewatering, which removes natural oils and maintains the consistency of the sauce.
The cans then go to the sauce filling tank, then sealed hermetically at a rate of 300 cans per minute. The next step is thermal processing at over 100 degrees centigrade to ensure the cans are shelf stable. After the cans are cooled, they are then labelled automatically, with batch codes added to indicate production batches and expiration dates. The cans are then packed and tagged, and the sealed boxes then go into warehouses for shipping and delivery.
Mega Global produces up to 1 million cans of sardines daily, all of which are produced while adhering to the highest standards of quality. It has also invested in a state-of-the-art distribution center in Valenzuela City to bring its products faster and more efficiently to Filipino customers.
Over the years, Mega Global has continuously invested in upgrading and integrating its operations to ensure that it offers the high quality and best value for its customers. At the same time, it has embraced the principles of responsible stewardship to the ocean and sustainable fishing by ensuring that it complies with environmental laws on fishing. It also uses standard nets, employs zero waste practices, and observes sustainable practices.
“We have always been proud of our fishing technologies and practices and have been continuously innovating, which have made it possible for Mega Global to bring convenience and high quality products that are healthier,
tastier, and affordable to Filipinos,” said Vice President for Sales and Marketing Mr. Marvin Tiu Lim.