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The keeping quality of lake turkana tilapia oreochromis nilotica stored in ice


, : The keeping quality of lake turkana tilapia oreochromis nilotica stored in ice. Bulletin of Animal Health & Production in Africa 35(1): 59-68

Quality change during storage in crushed ice was investigated for Lake Turkana tilapia. The fish was kept at ambient temperature (35.degree.C) for varying lengths of time (0, 5, 10, 15 hours) before icing. The experiments included whole ungutted fish, gutted fish with head and fish fillets. Fish and fillets were stored in crushed ice for a period of five weeks during which samples were periodically analyzed for changes in total volatile bases (TVB) and bacterial growth, i.e. total bacterial count (TBC). An organoleptical assessment was also carried out. The results show that Lake Turkana tilapia stored in crushed ice are still acceptable for human consumption after a period of 21-28 days. This is equal to or better than results reported from other tropical areas. However, TVB was measured to only 6-8 mg per 100 g of fish at the point where the fish was considered organoleptically inedible. Previous studies from other tropical areas suggest 25-30 mg as a standard limit for acceptability. Ths limit is clearly not applicable for Lake Turkana tilapia and/or conditions. A delay of 10-15 hours prior to icing are shown to have increasingly deleterious effects upon the amount of ammonia produced. For practical reasons we would not recommend a fish quality control system based on TVB analysis. Quality control based on organoleptic assessment seems to be more adequate for the local conditions in Turkana.

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