After harvest, shrimp are send to processing plants in baskets and placed in pre-cooling stations. The shrimps are put in an ice, water and meta-bisulphite mixture of 0° Celsius. After that, sorter machines in special refrigerated rooms (4-8° C) sort and count the shrimp, which are then manually placed in 1-2 kg boxes. The boxes are loaded in plate freezers or freezing tunnel for freezing. During the process from farm to final product freezing, the temperature of the shrimp is recorded for tracing in all steps.
The processing factories are all privately owned. There are 108 establishments that are approved to export to the EU, 54 of them are allowed to export aquaculture products. According to Trade Union data, there are a total of 45 shrimp processing plants, of which 32 are EU approved. Of these 32, only 4 plants actively export shrimp to Europe. These processing plants have a capacity of 3,000-4,000 MT per year.
Some of the biggest processors per province are: Behta Arvand (Khouzestan) , Daryazad (Boushehr), Bandar Abbas Fishery Products (Hormozgan), Arman Jonoub (Chabahar) and Shil Abzi Golestan (Golestan). In the provinces Khouzestan, Bousheher, Chabahar and Golestan there is a high demand for both new processing facilities as for innovations in processing and freezing equipment (e.g. IQF). To cope with the increasing shrimp production, at least 25 new processing plants are needed and existing plants need to increase their processing capacity.