This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of fish processors on the nutritional quality of some commercial fish species (Clarias gariepinus, Synodontis budgetti, and Oreochromis niloticus) which obtained from Lake Geriyo, Yola, Nigeria. One kilogram of each of the fish species was processed using Futy Smoking Kiln (FSK), Improved Hanger Smoking Kiln (IMHSK) and Hybrid Solar Drier (HSD). Each of the three fish species were randomly assigned to the three (3) processors in a completely randomized design replicated thrice containing one (1) kilogram of each of the fish species and processed. The time and weights were recorded. Processed Fish samples were analyzed for proximate and mineral composition, using standard laboratory procedure. Data were also collected on organoleptic taste, and cost benefit using the different processors. Data obtained were subjected to the analysis of variance. Decrease in moisture content was observed during processing using the different processors and constant weight was obtained within 10-20 hours. The proximate composition of the differently processed fish species were significantly (p<0.05) affected by the different processors. The IMHSK recorded the highest crude protein of (65.42%) for Synodontis budgetti and 62.76% for Oreochromis niloticus respectively, The IMHSK indicated significantly (p<0.05) higher calcium level of 3.53 mg/kg for Clarias gariepinus and 4.77 mg/kg for Synodontis budgetti. The different processors used significantly (p<0.05) affected the level of acceptability of the processed fish. Fish processed using the improved hanger smoking kiln recorded the highest level of acceptability followed by those processed with Futy smoking kiln. On economic ground, the use of IMHSK was found to be cost effective. The different processors used were observed to influence the nutritional quality of fish however; the use of IMHSK indicated the most beneficial effects on the nutritive value of fish and is therefore recommended for processing fish.
Sogbesan Olukayode Amos, Ibrahim Paulina