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Beatrice Zabala

October 2016


Fish 148: 2nd Long Exam


1. Describe the current status of the Philippine dried fish

industry. Propose workable changes in the production
methods or practices in order to improve product quality.
(20 pts.)
Even though Philippines is among the top producers of cured dried,
salted or smoked fish in Asia, fish processing in the country is still
considered traditional. Common issues in Philippine drying process involve
unhygienic practices in work area from catch to processing handling and
non- observance of proper manufacturing practices. For instance, salting
plays a major role in assuring the high quality of dried fish product. It is
always recommended to use pure salt of appropriate crystal size and salt
application method (wet and kench) to avoid common problems like case
hardening and fish pinking. Since the actual drying process takes some
time, this is where most errors in processing are observed. Most drying
practices in the country use age-old equipment or natural ancient form of
drying with the least effective results so of course, different factors in the
weather over the course of the processing affect the uniformity of the
drying, thus the uniformity of the quality of the dried fish. In addition,
drying trays and cabinets should be designed smartly to avoid inefficient
drying and contamination of the products if they have been elevated
enough, aerated or ventilated adequately and drained consistently. Postprocess handling must also be improved starting with the packaging and
presentation of the end products by enclosing them in sealed packs
avoiding exposure to biological contaminants and assuring cleanliness of
the product. If only more developed methods are used in processing,
perhaps dried Philippine fish products would appeal to foreign consumers
for possibly more competitive export.
2. Differentiate between low and high salt fish fermentation.
Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each process.
(15 pts)
Fermentation is considered a salting process however, they can be
differentiated by the differences in products since salting retains the
original form of the raw material only not to decay it while fermentation
produces material that does not exist from the existing material by
microorganism and enzymatic action. Fermented fish products are divided
into groups depending on salt added namely, high salt (> 20 % of weight),
low salt (6-18%) and no salt classifications that affect the kind of endproduct. As commonly known, salt has preservative quality so in high salt
fermented products, no other preservative means are needed to reduce
pathogenic and putrefactive microorganisms. The degree of hydrolysis in
this case is affected by fermentation time and temperature producing fish
sauce, paste and cured fish. On the other hand, if the fish contains less

than 20% of the weight of material, the fish rapidly spoils and thus needs
further preservative means where carbohydrate addition is commonly
used to utilize lactic acid bacteria for fermentation. Vinegar in low
temperature may also be applied in low salt fermented fish. No salt
fermented fish is not a common practice as product easily spoils.
High salt concentration actually reduces the sensory qualities of the
fermented products, likewise, high salt also contributes to high blood
pressure and thus is less appealing compared to the more flavorful lactic
acid fermented products even if it has longer shelf life.
3. Enumerate and discuss the different factors other than salt
that can affect the quality of fish paste. (20 pts)
Primarily, microorganism action is given the most consideration in
giving the quality of the paste. The proteolytic and lipolytic enzymes
inhabiting the fish guts along with the fermentative lactic acid bacteria
cause the uniformity of cheesy flavor and texture of the degraded fish
muscles of specific single species. The protein quality and degree of
hydrolysis is also uniformed and less extraneous variables will be able to
alter the expected pasty consistency of the fish paste if monospecies
processing is applied. The maturity of the fish species influences the
quality of the meat and partially the consistency of the product. While the
acidity and temperature have selective effects on the kind of
microorganisms present in the fermentation process which in this case
favor more acidic conditions since the fermenting bacteria form lactic acid
in order to break down the fish flesh. It is also important to maintain air
tight seal on the fermenting container to not allow air inside as this
contributes to good fermentation and storage. Of course, the length of
storage is a primary factor in determining the quality of the fermented
product in relation to the salt ratio or carbohydrate ratio.
4. Discuss the potential of using frigate tuna for surimi
production. Support your answer (10 pts.).
Although frigate tuna or mackerel is commonly found in the local
markets, the dark meat found in frigate tuna or mackerel is a source of
most problems in its potential as raw material for surimi production. For
one, because of the high lipid and myoglobin content in dark meat of fast
swimming migratory fish species that are difficult to remove during
leaching, gelation of the target myofibrillar proteins is adversely affected.
The binding of sarcoplasmic proteins to the myofibrillar ones interfere with
the myosin cross-linking during
gel-matrix formation causing
destabilization of myofibrillar proteins and the reduced water holding
capacity. Another problem also results from the high lipid content in
frigate tuna as it is rendered more susceptible to oxidation causing
unfavorable flavor brought about by protein denaturation. Fish muscle
lipid oxidation also decreases the gel-forming capacity of frigate tuna.

Histamine poisoning is also more commonly observed in scombroid fish

species, with the higher likelihood in dark meat fish than in light fleshed
fish because of the formation of bacterial histidine decarboxylase when
fish is exposed to unfavorable conditions shortly after death. The fishing
methods involved in tuna fishing also contribute to the less than fresh
quality of the fish which may not qualify for surimi processing due to early
protein denaturation. Finally, the dark pigments imparted even after
leaching process owes to the lowered surimi quality when frigate tuna is
used as raw material. These complications arising from the muscle
composition of frigate mackerel exclude it from possible surimi raw
5. Differentiate between frozen surimi and surimi powder.
Describe the processing methods involved and discuss the
advantages and disadvantages of both methods. (15 pts.)
Surimi powder is the dried form of surimi, a concentrated around 65%
of myofibrillar protein extracted from fish flesh so have basically the same
functional properties like gelation, water holding capacity and emulsifying
as well as foaming properties. The main difference between frozen surimi
and surimi powder is that the powder no longer needs freezing storage
and is kept in ambient temperature. Due to the expensive freezing storage
of surimi blocks, surimi powder comes handy in industrial applications
since it is more easily handled and stored, has significantly lower
distribution cost because of the subtracted weight of water and much
easily adjusted formulation in surimi-based products from dry mixing.
However, both regular freezing and drying process of surimi can induce
protein denaturation so both use cryoprotectants as well as
dryoprotectants sucrose and polyols (Suzuki, 1981).
The way water is removed during drying process is similar to that
during freezing but more drastic since more water is removed. This is
remedied by the water replacement mechanism where the
dryoprotectants added can act as temporary binding sites for the lost
water and then prevent protein denaturation by aggregation of protein
during water removal from the matrix (Carjaval, 2005). There are many
methods of drying that can be used but it is important to make sure that
temperature and loss of water do not induce protein denaturation since
protein is heat sensitive compound. Gelation and emulsifying properties
are important factors to keep in check to maintain high quality surimi for
surimi-based products.
6. Provide and discuss 5 most relevant tests in assessing
surimi quality. (10 pts)
There are two primary qualities of surimi that are critically measured
namely the whiteness or color and gel strength. For objectivity and
technicality, whiteness meter can be used to quantify the color of the

surimi product likewise it can be measured subjectively during sensory

evaluation, this time to cater to specific consumer preference. Gel
strength can be measured objectively by rheometer and tensiometer then
subjectively by sensory evaluation where the surimi is folded how many
times to make sure cracks or breaks do not appear. Gel strength also
manifests in the springiness or texture of the surimi where a biting or
teeth-cutting test is done to test the appropriateness of the toughness of
the product. Finally, all of these tests must be preceded by the most
important freshness quality test before surimi production as surimi
requires the freshest raw material in order to make sure that the fish does
not undergo early deterioration and denaturation before even processing
from postharvest.
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