Michael O. Ashaolu
Fish smoking is a major activity in the fish industry. In most riverside areas in Nigeria, where fish business is very prominent smoking operations are mostly carried out manually and under unhygienic conditions. The concept of the smoking kiln development is to ease the drudgery associated with traditional methods (drum smoking) in the riverside communities. In this study, a motorized fish smoking kiln was designed, fabricated with locally available materials. The smoking process is based on natural convection of heated air with temperature ranging between 60oC and 110oC.The fish smoking kiln has an overall dimension of 1600 x 1220 x750mm and uses charcoal as the main source of energy. The average capacity of the smoking chamber is 120kg. The performance test was conducted to ascertain its performance. The result showed that moisture content was reduced from 80% to 30% with an average smoking time of 60mins.The study concluded that fishes smoked by the kiln have a longer shelf life during storage when compared with traditional (drum) method, due to hot smoking temperature which reduces moisture faster. The overall average percentage weight loss obtained for three species tested are as follows: EtholmosaFimbriata(36%, Scombridae mackerel(37%) and Clariasgariepinus (cat fish) 45%.
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