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close this bookTraining Programme for Women Entrepreneurs in the Food-processing Industry - Volume II (UNIDO, 1985, 286 p.)
close this folderChapter 9 Fish Products
View the document9.1 Kapenta (Dried Sardines)
View the document9.2 Fish Cakes
View the document9.3 Smoked Fish

9.1 Kapenta (Dried Sardines)

PRODUCT/PROCESS DESCRIPTION

Kapenta are small (2.5 cm × 6 cm) dried silver fish which are sold intact. It has a typically fishy flavour and a salty taste and a hard leathery texture. It is used domestically with a main meal and as a component of animal feed formulations. The expected shelf life is several months under correct storage conditions.

Principles of Preservation and Method of Processing

The principle of preservation is to inhibit enzyme and microbial action by addition of acetic acid to the surface of the fish and removal of moisture by drying.

PROCESS FLOW DIAGRAM

PROCESS

NOTES

Fresh 'Kapenta'


Store

Use damp sacking over fish to keep evaporation low. Keep the fish in the shade out of direct sunlight. Ice can also be used. This helps to keep the fish wet and reduces the rate of micro-biological and chemical deterioration.

Clean

Remove weeds and snails by hand. The fish is left whole. Use clean water for washing away mud.

Acidify

Dip the fish in vinegar diluted with water (50% water: 50% vinegar).

Dry

Dry in the sun, turning at intervals.

Pack

Pack in plastic or jute sacks.

Store

Store in a well ventilated cool clean room.

QUALITY CONTROL

Hygiene

As the fresh fish is a low acid, moist food it is highly susceptible to microbial growth. This is more important with this product as it is not de-gutted and gut bacteria therefore remain in the product. It is therefore essential that all equipment and surfaces are thoroughly cleaned before processing. Strict personal hygiene and hygienic food handling practices should be enforced to prevent food poisoning bacteria from contaminating the product. The fish should be thoroughly dried to a low moisture content and should be protected from insects and animals during drying.

Raw Material Control

The fish should be freshly caught, free from disease and handled carefully to prevent contamination. It should appear shiny, metallic with a wet sheen. The eyes should be clear and projecting and the gills should be pink.

Process Control

The main control points are

1) the drying rate which affects the product quality and moisture content and depends mostly on the climate and size of the fish,

2) the amount of acetic acid used to prevent surface bacterial growth during the initial stages of drying.

Product Control

The main quality factors are colour, taste and texture of the product Colour and texture are determined by the drying conditions and taste is mostly determined by the freshness of the fish.

PACKAGING AND STORAGE

Kapenta needs packaging to prevent contamination by dust, insects etc. and if transported to a more humid region, to prevent moisture uptake. If sold in the area of production a simple container of paper or cloth is sufficient to keep the product clean. Sealed polythene bags are suitable for transport and distribution to other areas. The fish should be stored in a cool dry place away from sunlight to minimise rancidity and moisture uptake.

Equipment:

· No special equipment is required.

9.2 Fish Cakes

PRODUCT/PROCESS DESCRIPTION

Fried fish cakes are 3 cm diameter balls of fish meat, bound together with starch and egg and fried to a golden brown colour. They are sold for direct consumption as part of a meal or as part of a packed meal. They have a shelf life of less than 2 days when properly stored.

Principles of Preservation and Method of Processing

The principle of preservation is heat destruction of enzymes and micro-organisms during frying. The short shelf life does not require inhibition of spoilage micro-organisms during storage.

PROCESS FLOW DIAGRAM

PROCESS

NOTES

Fresh Fish

Any fish is suitable but larger fish have more flesh.

Store

The fish is kept under ice covered with a wet sack, or kept in cold water.

Mix ¬ water


Mix ¬salt


Heat

Boil in salted water for 5-10 min. depending on the fish size.

Separate ® bones

Separate by hand.

Heat

Cook the flesh thoroughly.

Mix

Mix 2 teacup sieved flour to 1 teacup of fish meat, add a pinch of salt, one egg and one tablespoon of sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix to a firm dough.

Form/Coat

Prepare mixture into 3 cm diameter balls and coat in flour.

Fry ¬ oil

Fry until the are cooked and golden brown. Check this by using a sterilised wire to ensure no material sticks to wire when removed from fish ball.

Cool

Cool on a wire tray to allow oil to drip. Sprinkle sugar or salt before packing.

Pack

Optional. If necessary, use sealed polythene bags or airtight containers.

QUALITY CONTROL

Hygiene

Heat during frying destroys most contaminating bacteria and the short shelf life restricts recontamination during storage. Good hygienic practices should be enforced during preparation of the mix to prevent gross contamination and possible survival of large numbers of bacteria after frying.

Raw Material Control

The main quality factors are the flavour, colour and particle size of the fish and freedom from bacterial contamination and insect damage. Other ingredients should be similarly fresh and wholesome. Oil used for frying should be clear, of good quality and free from rancidity. The quality characteristics of oil are described in more detail in Chapter 2 (Cooking Oils).

Process Control

The main control points are:

1) Accurate weighing and thorough mixing of ingredients, as even a small variation can cause large differences in the final product,

2) time and temperature of frying, which controls the colour, texture, flavour and moistness of the product.

Product Control

The main quality factors are colour, size/shape, aroma, texture and flavour of the product, and freedom from contamination and soils. Each is determined by the amounts and types of ingredients, control over mixing and frying stages. In particular the type and quality of the frying oil is a major influence on the product quality.

PACKAGING AND STORAGE

The product is eaten within a few hours and packaging is rarely necessary except to keep the product clean. The product should be kept at a temperature above 60° C to prevent bacterial growth if sold as a streetfood, or if to be reheated in the home, it should be stored in a cool, dry place away from sunlight which would accelerate rancidity of the oil in the product.

Equipment:

· No special equipment is required.

9.3 Smoked Fish

PRODUCT/PROCESS DESCRIPTION

Smoked bream is a dry, brown product that has a salty taste and a characteristic flavour. It has a shelf life of several months when stored correctly. It is a valuable product which has a high domestic demand.

Principles of Preservation and Method of Processing

The principles of preservation are as follows:

1) Heat from the smoke destroys enzymes and micro-organisms in the fish,

2) smoke deposits hydrocarbons on the surface of the fish which, together with the salt that is rubbed into the surface, inhibit microbial growth,

3) moisture is removed during smoking/drying and the low moisture content of the final product inhibits recontamination. The process involves rubbing salt into the prepared fish and smoking the fish until sufficient moisture has been removed.

PROCESS FLOW DIAGRAM

PROCESS

NOTES

Fresh fish


Clean

Clean the fish be removing sand, waste material and gills using clean water (Note: the removal of scale is optional), clean and wash with potable water.

Cut

Gut the fish from tail to head through the stomach using a sharp knife. The fish has to lie flat supported by the spinal cord. Avoid contaminating flesh with internal organs.

Salt

Place fish in salt water solution in several layers in container. Let it stand for 2 hours.

Smoke

Place the salted fish on the smoking racks orderly and not one on top of the other, with the back of the fish downwards. Allow the fish to lie on the rack away from flames, sprinkle fuel charcoal periodically on the wood chips. The fish must be kept 2-3 days on the rack with turning every 6 hours. Break the fish to test the dryness. It should break crisply when fully dried.

An enclosed house is preferable because it keeps the smoke inside. The fire should have a composition of 2/3 dry firewood and 1/3 freshwood to increase the smoke. The rack must be 2 meters above the fire.

Pack

Pack in jute/plastic bags or sacks.

Store

Store in a well ventilated room at a cool temperature.

QUALITY CONTROL

Hygiene

Fish is a low acid product that is extremely susceptible to bacterial spoilage and transfer of food poisoning micro-organisms when it is moist. It is therefore essential that all equipment and surfaces are thoroughly cleaned before processing. Strict personal hygiene and hygienic food handling practices should be enforced to prevent food poisoning bacteria from contaminating the product. The fish should be thoroughly dried to a low moisture content and should be protected from insects and animals during drying.

Raw Material Control

Fresh fish should have a shiny, metallic appearance, a firm texture and a fresh, seaweedy odour. Gills should be bright red and the eyes should be clear and protruding.

Process Control

The main control points are:

1) Adequate cleaning and preparation of the fish to prevent contamination of the final product,

2) correct smoking temperature and time; overheating causes excessive browning and underheating/inadequate time may result in incomplete drying and mould growth during storage.

Product Control

The main quality characteristics are colour, texture and flavour of the final product. These are each determined by the type of wood used to smoke the fish and the time/temperature of smoking.

PACKAGING AND STORAGE

Packaging is needed to prevent contamination by dust, insects etc. and if transported to a more humid region, to prevent moisture uptake. If sold in the area of production a simple container of paper or cloth is sufficient to keep the product clean. Sealed polythene bags are suitable for transport and distribution to other areas. The fish should be stored in a cool dry place away from sunlight to minimise rancidity and moisture uptake.

Equipment:

· A smokehouse can be made locally.