Using Fish Processing Technology To Enhance The Economy

By Flora Vinson

Of all the foods we eat, fishes seem to be the most abundant. But then again, they need to undergo proper fish processing technology in order to be sold commercially in several amounts. Different machines for various stages would be necessary to automatically prepare the products.

What distributors are primarily concerned about is how to prolong the shelf life of their products. So as to prevent spoilage, they need to control bacterial activity, water content in fish as well as the temperature surrounding the products.

Temperature control is often done by icing. Fishes are placed inside buckets and iced before they can be placed in large freezers on land. To make icing easier, pumpable ice as well as slurry ice are already being used. Smoking and drying are also very common to dehydrate the fishes and avoid spoilage due to water.

It is common in some areas to do drying under the sun. Ovens are also being used for smoking. But some distributors are now implementing freeze drying and water binding humectants for faster results made easier as well.

As for controlling the amount of bacteria that could grow with the products, physical as well as chemical processes are being used. Commercial products like sardines and mackerel are placed inside cans to preserve their shelf lives. These cans need to be properly sterilized to kill bacteria inside.

Fishes may also need to be cooked or pasteurized to ensure the deactivation of bacteria. Increasing the acidity of the products by means of marination and fermentation are also common. Some producers intently add acids to their products since increased acidity decreases bacterial growth.

To prepare fishes directly for selling, machines may be used. Cutting, deboning, skinning and filleting devices are now available as part of the fish processing technology. After fishes are processed in these machines, they are then ready to be sold fresh in supermarkets.

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