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close this bookSmall-Scale Processing of Fish (ILO - WEP, 1982, 140 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentI. RAW MATERIALS
Open this folder and view contentsIII. PROCESSING OPERATIONS
View the documentIV. QUALITY CONTROL
Open this folder and view contentsV. POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVES TO THE USE OF METAL CANS


The thermal processing of fish involves packing prepared material, usually in oil or light brine within a metal can, bottle, or pouch; sealing the container completely; and subsequently heating the contents in order to kill most micro-organisms in the products. The oil or light brine is ineffective as a preservative and is added only as a filling medium. The container, which must be able to maintain the “commercial sterility” throughout the product storage life, must be particularly robust and leak-proof. This inevitably results in high processing costs, not only because of the high prices of the container itself, but also because of the high capital investment required for the machinery to process the container.

The following conditions are generally considered as necessary for the establishment of a profitable canning plant (Perovic, 1977):

- A large and regular supply of a suitable species of fresh fish at reasonable cost.

- Adequate manpower and infrastructure (i.e. harbours, chill stores, etc.), and

- Large amounts of potable water and electricity energy.

- Large market for canned products given the relatively high retail prices of canned goods (i.e. in relation to prevailing incomes in developing countries).

Due to these requirements, there are very few situations where thermal processing of fish in metal cans may be recommended.