This paper aims to take a critical review of traditional fish processing in Nigeria.
A critical review of traditional fish processing in Nigeria was undertaken.
Fish is one of the protein foods that need careful handling. Due to poor handling, about 30-50 per cent of fish harvested are wasted in Nigeria. This study was therefore carried out to review fish processing technologies and evaluate the effectiveness, energy sources and efficiency of fish processing equipment used, quality and safety of processed fish products and possible improvement. Studies revealed that the fish when brought aboard is usually more or less alive, stored simply on the bottom of the canoe and lying there in a pool of warm, dirty water. The fish is never gutted and freely exposed to the sun, and better handling practices would help in developing a fresh fish export trade toward the larger towns in the north and south. Several studies revealed that fish smoking still remains the main method of fish preservation in Nigeria as over 70 per cent of the catch is smoked. The quality of smoked fish from Nigeria has been found to be within acceptable quality limits specific by various regulatory agencies. However, findings have revealed microbial contamination and the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in some of the smoked fish which values exceed the EU recommended maximum permissible level of 5.0 μg/kg for benzo[α]pyrene.
Few available literatures on the subject matter were critically reviewed.
The paper helps in creating opportunities for more in-depth research in fish processing in Nigeria.
This research is of value to the researchers in Nigeria and other tropical countries.
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