Do you have Tilapia in your product portfolio? Then, it is essential that you know what type of trimmings exist for the fillets.

To the novice eye the differences can be subtle and therefore not very relevant. However, as a Tilapia marketer, it is necessary to know how to identify the differences that exist because they affect both the quality of the final product and the commercial margin.

In Tilapia processing plants, the production begins with filleting each fish in two parts. Check it out in this video:

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These fillets can be marketed with the skin, but are generally sold without it.

When the fish is divided, it can be cut with thetrimming requested by the client. There are three different ways to do it:

  • Untrimmed
  • Normal trimmed
  • Well trimmed

If the Tilapia fish is Untrimmed means that a double cut is made at the height of the central spine and near the head in order to extract the spines. You can see it in the following photo:

Normal trimmed is the most commercialized way of filleting it. In this case, another cut is made on the side of the Tilapia that would correspond to the top of it. This is where the dorsal fin is located and, this way, the cartilage is removed:

The last type of cut is the Well trimmed one. It is the most thorough and is used to achieve a premium product. The Tilapia processor not only removes all the cartilage from the top of the fish, but also the cartilage from the bottom where the anal fin is located. In addition, approximately 1 cm of the belly is also trimmed:

This last type of more precise and detailed trimming achieves a higher-quality product, since the fillet is completely clean.

Now that you know the different ways to cut Tilapia fish, it is important to keep in mind that each one has its price depending on the work it requires. The higher the degree of trimming, the higher cost of production and the lower yield of raw material.

Accordingly, it is vital to define what type or types of Tilapia fillets you want to have in your product portfolio because the quality, prices and your profit margins will depend, partly, on the type of trimming you choose.

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