Fresh ideas for preserving fish
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CTA. 1988. Fresh ideas for preserving fish. Spore 13. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
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Scientists in the south of India are experimenting with a plastic pouch that could one day replace canning as a means of preserving fish, especially sardines. The pouch was invented in the USA and already is in common use in Japan. It consists of...
Scientists in the south of India are experimenting with a plastic pouch that could one day replace canning as a means of preserving fish, especially sardines. The pouch was invented in the USA and already is in common use in Japan. It consists of three layers: polyester to give tensile strength, aluminium to keep out light, and polypropylene to exclude oxygen. Fullscale trials have shown that the Indian sardine can keep its flavour and form for at least two years within the pouch. The work forms part of a Joint project between the Central Institute of Fish Technology (CIFT) in Kerala, southern India, and the UK Overseas Development Natural Resources Institute (ODNRI). Initial work revealed that tropical sardines are similar to tuna and mackerel in carrying certain bacteria in their flesh. Once the fish is killed, these produce histamines that can cause fever rashes and gastroenteritis. At temperatures over 16C even those fish that appear edible may have a dangerously high histamine An effective method of preserving the fish in this area is crucial since the sardine season is short and gluts are common; an all year round supply could be obtained if the fish could be kept. Drying, particularly in the sun, is not satisfactory as the fish have a high fat content and quickly turn rancid. Tin for canning proves too expensive. Since India is already producing plastics, the plastic pouch appears an ideal option. A pilot programme is to be launched later this year. For more details, contact: ODNRI College House Wrights Lane London W8 5SJ UNITED KINGDOM
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