Reading: Present status of smoked fish processing at Mahakanadarawa reservoir in Mihintale, Sri Lanka.

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Present status of smoked fish processing at Mahakanadarawa reservoir in Mihintale, Sri Lanka.

Authors:

R. G. D. R. Jayawickrama ,

The Open University of Sri Lanka, Nawala, Nugegoda, LK
About R. G. D. R.

Department of Zoology

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A. Wanasinghe,

The Open University of Sri Lanka, Nawala, Nugegoda, LK
About A.

Department of Zoology

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U. A. Jayawardena

The Open University of Sri Lanka, Nawala, Nugegoda, LK
About U. A.

Department of Zoology

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Abstract

Fish smoking has become a popular processing method in Mahakanadarawa reservoir, with the potential for substantial demand among frequent visitors to Anuradhapura. This industry generates considerable income for the local livelihoods and reduces the post-harvesting losses. Government and Non-government Organizations have recognized the necessity of expanding the smoked fish industry in this area. However, there is a scarcity of scientific information on this vital industry. This study focuses on the current state of smoked fish production in the Mahakanadarawa reservoir. A field survey was conducted to determine the types of fish and fuel wood used, the type of technology they apply, and the challenges they encounter in both storage and in the supply chain to the consumer. The majority of smoked fish processors were found to be directly connected with fishing in the Mahakanadarawa reservoir and when there is a surplus catch, fishers produce smoked fish. Although tilapia is the most abundant smoked fish in the study area, snakehead is the most popular fish with a higher commercial value. Hence, breeding strategies should be used for such commercially important species. Smoking technologies in the study area are still at an extremely rudimentary level, leading to substantial processing losses due to uneven exposure to heat and smoke. Different types of fuelwoods are used by the processors to enhance the characteristic colour and smoky aroma that enticed their buyers. These types of woods may have essential anti-oxidant and bactericidal properties in addition to their distinctive flavour, colour, and aroma, and as such, further studies are recommended. Most of the smoked fish producers do not have adequate technologies for packaging and storage their products. Majority uses paper-based cartons and discarded Styrofoam boxes. Such paper-based materials generally absorb the valuable fish oil while poorly sealed Styrofoam containers are attributed to rancidity and growth of molds. Thus, empowering them with sufficient technologies and resources may reduce postharvest losses and lead to ensuring the catering of growing consumer demand throughout the year.
How to Cite: Jayawickrama, R.G.D.R., Wanasinghe, A. and Jayawardena, U.A., 2022. Present status of smoked fish processing at Mahakanadarawa reservoir in Mihintale, Sri Lanka.. Sri Lanka Journal of Aquatic Sciences, 27(1), pp.25–30. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljas.v27i1.7594
Published on 21 Mar 2022.
Peer Reviewed

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