The Effect of Pretreatment and Packaging Material on the quality of Stored Dried Catfish (Clarias gariepinus)

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The Effect of Pretreatment and Packaging Material on the quality of Stored Dried Catfish (Clarias gariepinus)

Elijah George Ikrang, Mfrekemfon Godswill Akpan*, Uwem Isaac Jones
Department of Agricultural and Food Engineering, University of Uyo, Uyo Nigeria
*Corresponding Author
Received: 18 May 2023; Revised: 28 June 2023; Accepted: 01 July 2023; Published: 08 August 2023

Abstract: The study was conducted to determine effects of pretreatment and locally available packaging materials on the quality of dried and stored catfish (Clarias gariepinus). The freshly obtained catfish was cut into pieces measuring 20×5×6mm. The treatment group was pre-treated with lemon juice, while the control was prepared without pretreatment. Both the treatment and control were dried using hot air at 80 °C to constant weight. The dried sample was then stored using three packaging materials (aluminum foil, unbleached paper and low-density polyethylene bag) in triplicate and stored in iron basket in the laboratory for observation at 25 °C and 55 % relative humidity. Samples were then taken out from storage for further analysis after every week and finally concluded at six weeks. The analysis done was proximate composition, moisture content, total volatile basic nitrogen (TVBN), bacterial and fungal count. The fresh sample had the following data: 72.49%, 19.72, 5.6, 1.04, 1.15 % for moisture content, protein, fat, crude fibre respectively. That of the pre-treated sample obtained was 72.80% moisture content, 17.01% protein content, 3.37% fat content,0.53% ash content and 1.16% crude fibre content. The moisture content for lemon treated dried cat fish ranged between 28-30% (wb). The result showed that the higher the moisture content, the lower the protein content, ash content and fibre. Therefore, as the moisture content decreased, the protein content, crude fibre, fat and oil content increased. The total volatile basic nitrogen (TVBN) of the fresh sample was higher than that of the lemon treated sample due to its chemical compositions with the mean value of 5.60% for the fresh sample and 2.80% for the lemon treated sample. Bacterial and fungal counts on the fresh samples were more than that of the treated samples. After drying, the only microorganisms that survived the heat were thermophilic microorganisms (Bacillus furinus, Pseudomonas aureginosa and Aspergillus terraus) and they weren’t significantly influenced during storage. The results of the analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that the most suitable packaging material was aluminum foil and the organic acid added to the fish also helped to prolong shelf life. This is because the aluminum foil preserved the quality of the fish hence the proximate compositions of the fish was better than the fish kept in polyethylene and the paper.

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Keywords: Catfish, packaging, aluminum foil, unbleached paper, low-density polyethylene bag, lemon juice.

I. Introduction

Fish are a component of seafood that provide food for human consumption. Seafood provides a balanced nutritional content which include low fat, high protein, and a variety of micronutrients including various vitamins and minerals, and a dietary source of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids which have a lot of health benefits (Hassoun et al., 2022).
Fish is an excellent source of protein in the diet of many people in the world. The quality of fish protein is as good as that of beef, milk, pork and poultry. Some cultural and religious beliefs are associated with fish consumption.

Fresh fish as any other agricultural product deteriorates quickly as a result of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. However, the gap between the demand and supply of fish is widening due to increase in population, and its health benefits since many people are more health conscious but post-harvest losses are high. High ambient temperature hastens the spoilage of fish by accelerating the activities of bacteria, enzymes and chemical oxidation of fat in fish flesh (Ikrang & Umani, 2019).
Drying involves the removal of water from the food, to prevent the survival of food microbes such as bacteria, fungi and yeast thus prolonging the shelf-life of food (Olalusi et al., 2014). There are various drying methods for fish, they vary between different countries and within the same country depending on the type of fish species used and the type and quality of product desired. For instance fish may be dehydrated to various levels of moisture content in the final product ranging from 10 to 60%wb (Ikrang et al., 2014).