FISH DRYING IN NIGERIA
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Fresh fish rapidly deteriorates unless some way can be found to preserve it. Drying is a method of food
preservation that works by removing water from the food, which inhibits the growth of microorganisms.
Open air drying using sun and wind has been practiced since ancient times to preserve food. Water is
usually removed by evaporation (air drying, sun drying, smoking or wind drying) but, in the case of freeze drying, food is first frozen and then the water is removed by sublimation. Bacteria, yeasts and molds need the water in the food to grow, and drying effectively prevents them from surviving in the food.
Fish are preserved through such traditional methods as drying, smoking and salting. The oldest traditional
way of preserving fish was to let the wind and sun dries it (Wikipedia, 2016). Drying food is the world’s
oldest known preservation method, and dried fish has a storage life of several years. The method is cheap
and effective in suitable climates; the work can be done by the fisherman and family, and the resulting
product is easily transported to market (Wikipedia, 2016). Any kind of fish can be smoked or dried. There are three main methods of smoking: Smoking and roasting; Hot smoking; and Long smoking
Smoking and roasting is a simple method of preservation, for consumption either directly are curing or
within twelve hours. Re-smoking and roasting can keep the product in good condition for a further twelve
hours. Fresh unsalted fish is put over a wood or coconut husk fire (Adedeji and Adetunji, 2004; Adedeji,
2012). The hot smoking system can be used for immediate consumption or to keep the fish for a maximum
of 48 hours. Small fish can be salted first for half an hour (see wet salting). Are salting they are put on iron
spits and dried in a windy place or in the sun for another half hour. It is necessary to have an oil drum to
make the smoking stove (Adedeji and Adetunji, 2004; Adedeji, 2012). For long smoking, If fish must be kept
in good condition for a long time, for instance, two or three months or even longer, it can be done by
smoking, provided the fish is not oily. For this purpose, a small closed shed made of palm leaves or other
local material can be used (Adedeji and Adetunji, 2004; Adedeji, 2012).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
This study is considering the two types of dried fish in Nigeria which are stock fish and clip fish. Stock fish is
unsalted fish, especially cod, dried by cold air and wind on wooden racks on the foreshore. The drying
racks are known as fish flakes. Cod is the most common fish used in stockfish production, though other
whitefish, such as pollock, haddock, ling and tusk, are also used. Over the centuries, several variants of
dried fish have evolved. Stockfish, dried as fresh fish and not salted, is oen
confused with clip fish, where the fish is salted before drying. are 2â€“3 weeks in salt the fish has salt matured, and is transformed from wet salted fish to Clip fish through a drying process. The salted fish was earlier dried on rocks (clips) on the foreshore. Stock fish is cured in a process called fermentation where cold adapted bacteria matures the fish, similar to the maturing process of cheese. Clip fish is processed in a chemically curing process called salt maturing, similar to the maturing processes of other salt matured products like the Parma ham.