For the preparation of fresh-grained caviar only ripe roe is used, with firm grains , uniform in size and colour, easily separating from connective tissue and from each other. The grains should be firm and homogenous in size and colour. Black colour of stellate sturgeon’s caviar is caused by the presence of the pigment called melanin in it. When sorting roe by colour it is important not to allow black grains into high-grade fresh-grained caviar.
Before transportation jars with caviar are sewn in small cloth bags, 3 jars into each bag, and the bags are packed into grid cages, 18 bags into each cage. The cage is placed into a 300-liter barrel. The remaining room in the barrel is filled with ice cubes. The barrels are then closed and sealed . Thawed ice flows through special holes in the bottom of the barrel. During warm period of the year fresh-grained caviar is transported in refrigerator wagons. In winter fresh-grained caviar can be packed into wooden boxes felt-lined inside, 12-30 jars in each box. The vacant room in boxes is filled with dry sawdust. Now the boxes are wrapped in felt, sewn in hessian canvas, tied up and sealed.
Caviar for sale should have a mark corresponding to its colour. For example, for beluga’s and kaluga’s caviar there are signs on the jars (near the arrow), on bags and in packing specifications:
000 – light gray caviar;
00 – gray caviar;
0 – dark gray caviar ;
X – black caviar.
Colour of sturgeon’s and barbel sturgeon’s caviar is marked with letters:
A – light gray, gray, yellow and light brown caviar;
B – dark gray and brown caviar;
C – black caviar .
There is no colour marking for stellate sturgeon’s caviar.
Fresh-grained jar caviar of sturgeons has three grades: highest, first and second.
The grade depends on the size of the grains, uniformity of colour, consistency, taste and smell. Salt content should be 3.5 – 5%, content of preservatives – no more than 0.6% in terms of borax.
Caviar shouldn’t be wet under any circumstances, because it has low salt content. It should be stored under the temperature -2 -4 degrees Centigrade.
Grained pasteurized caviar, that is, heated while processing with or without addition of preservatives, can be stored no longer than 8 months when sealed, and if opened it will survive 1-2 days. Fresh-grained caviar is a low-salt product. It is hard to keep it at home, it needs temperature of 0 to -3 degrees Centigrade not to spoil.