Caviar production – The art of making caviar

Caviar has been a highly sought-after speciality for centuries, and caviar production has developed into a genuine art during this time. For many years, the rivers of Siberia and around the Caspian Sea appeared to be a sheer endless source of sturgeon, whose caviar was traded worldwide. However, this extensive and uncontrolled fishing has resulted in the sturgeon being critically endangered in the wild. Therefore, the capturing and trading of wild caviar is now internationally banned.

Caviar offered for sale today comes from breeding farms. The methods of sturgeon breeding for caviar production have significantly improved in recent years. Farmed caviar is now of the same quality as caviar from wild-caught sturgeon.

Caviar production is an art that has been passed down through generations. Alongside the vast knowledge of experienced caviar masters, a lot has to be considered when breeding the sturgeon in order to obtain truly outstanding caviar. Learn more about the caviar production of the Royal Caviar company below.

Providing the right habitat to produce the perfect caviar

The foundation for high-quality caviar begins years before the product is being sold. It all begins with the proper breeding of the sturgeon. Most importantly, the sturgeons must have access to fresh, cool water and sufficient space. Royal Caviar is committed to raising fish in a particularly species-appropriate environment. Instead of recirculating systems in narrow tanks, we choose aquaculture systems that are located in rivers or lakes. Thus, our sturgeons grow up under optimal conditions in a natural lake landscape. Our sturgeon farm covers an area of well over 500 square kilometres and offers the fish enough space and clear water to ensure natural and species-appropriate rearing.

In addition to natural living conditions and the excellent quality of the water, the feed must also correspond to the needs of the fish. Our experienced caviar master knows what which fish needs at which stage of development for healthy growth. Several times a year, we send sturgeon specialists and biologists to our production sites in order to check the health of the fish. We also maintain a very active and close relationship with our caviar master, who has been producing caviar on the Caspian Sea for over 40 years and is responsible for the excellent quality of our roe. This guarantees you always the best quality of caviar.

The sophisticated craft of breeding the best sturgeons

The effort required for sturgeon farming is enormous and cannot be met by most of the cheap caviar suppliers. Some low-quality caviar producers raise sturgeon in a heated environment. This results in sturgeons reaching sexual maturity within a few years, so they can be used for caviar production earlier. By contrast, Royal Caviar provides a natural habitat for the sturgeons to grow up and develop in a normal way: This can take more than twice as long as in artificial environments. This type of breeding is therefore more expensive, but has a great, positive influence on the quality of the caviar obtained.

Since the quality of our products are our highes priority, we do not shy away from this task and have dedicated ourselves to producing the best farmed caviar possible.

You are probably wondering how Royal Caviar manages to offer an extremely high-quality but still comparatively inexpensive caviar from sustainable cultivation.

Beyond the optimal breeding conditions, one of the secrets of our caviar production lies in the selection of the right sturgeon. By cross-breeding selected beluga and ossetra fish, we have succeeded in combining the best characteristics of osietra caviar as well as beluga caviar. Similar to the Osietra sturgeon, our hybrid fish reach sexual maturity after about 6 to 7 years, which is much faster compared to conventional sturgeons. The shorter rearing time ensures lower production costs.

Caviar production by hand – the delicate handling of the sturgeon roe

When the female sturgeons reach maturity and produce roe, the fish are brought from the natural lake environment to our nearby production centre. There, our staff can determine the exact moment when the unfertilised sturgeon roe are ready for harvesting.

carefull handling of royal Premium Caviar during caviar production

After a species-appropriate sedation, the sturgeons are put down. Between 800,000 and 3 million eggs can be obtained from one fish. The further processing into high-quality caviar is done with utmost care in order not to damage the fragile fish eggs. After the roe has been gently removed from the fish, the eggs are carefully washed in order to remove fat and tissue residues. In the next step of caviar production, the roes are sorted according to size, colour and quality. This thorough selection guarantees that Royal Caviar can offer you a natural product of consistent quality.

In the final production step, the fish eggs are carefully salted. In the production of our premium caviar varieties, we pay particular attention to low-salt finishing. Only 2-3% salt is added to our Malossol caviar. In addition to improving the shelf life, this has a particularly positive effect on the colour and incomparable aroma of the caviar. Only through salting does the sturgeon roe turn into the high-quality caviar that Royal Caviar customers are used to.

For transport, the fresh caviar is packed in airtight metal cans. After only a few days, it arrives at Royal Caviar’s company headquarters in Germany. In that time, the cold chain is not being disturbed. In Berlin, a final quality check takes places before the caviar is packed in the usual consumer tins of 50, 125, 250 or 500g or in various different sizes for our caviar wholesale and selected customers in the star gastronomy.

During the entire caviar production process – starting with the extraction of the sturgeon eggs, through processing to packaging in consumer tins – Royal Caviar pays strict attention to compliance with sanitation regulations and species protection requirements (CITES).