|Comparative Study of Solar and Sun Drying of Fish in Ecuator (NRI)|
|Section 1 - Equipment and methods|
A total of ten drying experiments were carried out using two species of locally available, freshly caught fish, lisa (Xenomugil thoburni) and pampano (Trachinotus paitensis). The range of preparation methods and pre-treatments was as follows:
Experiments 1 and 2
Dry salted split lisa:The fish were split according to local custom: they were cut along the backbone from head to tail, the guts and gills were removed and a cut made under the backbone to open out the thick part of the flesh and expose a greater surface area for salting and drying. The fish were carefully washed and the flesh scored. The prepared fish were soaked in 10% brine for 30 minutes to make the product firmer and to allow bleeding. They were then packed in dry salt, using one part salt to three parts fish by weight, and left overnight (for a maximum of approximately 21 hours) in a store.
Brined split pampano: The fish were split along the backbone, gutted, washed and all but the last third of the backbone removed. The flesh was scored and the fish totally immersed in saturated brine for 40 minutes.
Brined pampano fillets: Two single fillets were removed from each fish. The fillets were washed, scored and placed in saturated brine for 40 minutes.
Experiments 5 and 7
Brined split lisa: After being prepared in the same manner as for Experiments 1 and 2, the fish were placed in saturated brine for one hour.
Experiments 6 and 8
Unsalted split lisa: The fish were split as described previously but, after washing and scoring, were allowed to drain and were set to dry without salting.
Experiments 9 and 10
Dry salted lisa fillets: Two single fillets were removed from each fish. The fillets were washed and scored prior to salting in the same way as for Experiments 1 and 2 by being soaked in 10% brine for 30 minutes and then packed in dry salt overnight (approximately 12 hours). During this exercise, locally-produced solar salt was used for preparation of brines and for dry salting. After salting, the split fish or fillets were carefully washed to remove excess salt crystals from the surface and were allowed to drain. Each batch of fish was divided into five lots and set to dry in the three solar dryers, on the rack and on the lava rocks simultaneously.