Fish is a highly perishable food which needs proper handling and preservation if it is to have long shelf life and retain a desirable quality and nutritional value. The center concern of fish processing is to prevent fish from deteriorating. The most obvious method for preserving the quality of fish is to keep them alive until they are ready for cooking and eating. Fish are consumed as food by many species, including humans. It has been an important source of protein and other nutrients for humans throughout recorded history.
Fish processing is also concerned with proper waste management and with adding value to fish products. There is an increasing demand for ready to eat fish products, or products that do not need much preparation.
Fish is a very healthy foods on the planet, it is loaded with important nutrients, such as
- Vitamin A which is necessary for normal growth, Formation of bones, teeth and cell building. It prevents poor eyesight and helps in treatment of many eye disease.
- Vitamin D which is essential for proper bone development, it also helps with the correct use of calcium and phosphorus which are both necessary for strong bones and teeth, combined with vitamins A and C, it helps prevent cold.
- Vitamin B-Complex which is associated with healthy development of the nervous system.
- Vitamin K which helps to prevent internal bleeding and stimulates correct coagulation of the blood.
- Minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium, Selenium, Zinc, Iodine and iron.
Smoking is one of the oldest preservation methods that involve the use of fire. Smoked fish is fish that has been cured by smoking and when fish is smoked, some of the nutrients are concentrated. Originally, smoking was done throughout history as a preservative. In more recent times, fish is readily preserved by refrigeration and freezing. Smoking of fish is generally done for the unique taste and flavour imparted by the smoking process.
Objective of the Experiment
This procedure is carried out to preserve fish by smoking
Materials and Equipments
1. The fish should be thoroughly washed.
2. After washing, the fish is split along the spine leaving the tail connected. This is so the heat will be evenly spread in the fish.
3. Measure 600ml of water and 10g of table salt and mix.
4. Soak the fish in the solution for 45minutes.
5. The fish should then be removed, drained, and smoked traditionally using the kiln (E.g Afos mini kiln), with the sawdust used for the smoking.
6. Cool the smoked fish and package.
The procedure is illustrated using the flow diagram below:
The smoked fish developed should have a unique flavour as a result of the crust formed on it, thereby improving its quality. There is a wide variety of delicious dishes that can be prepared from dried fish. The smoked fish is different from the one sold in the local market in the sense that it is not directly exposed to the sawdust. In the Afos mini kiln, the heater does the dehydration of the fish while the sawdust does the smoking. There is no insect or fly to contaminate the fish in the machine
Credits: Jeremiah Ogonna. Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria.