Tuesday, January 28, 2014

By definition, dried fish is cured (salted) and sun-dried or artificially dried fresh or boiled fish. The traditional drying and salting method of preserving fish continues to be very popular today simply because it produces such great flavor, long shelf life and more expected quality attributes of consumers. For centuries salted fish was a basic food in Sri Lanka as it was less expensive than meat and other protein sources. Even today because of the simplicity of the salting process, the low cost of production and the ease with which it combines with other preservation methods, such as drying or smoking.

The fisheries sector in Sri Lanka plays an indispensable role in the economy of country contributing around 1.2% to the GDP. Fish products are an important source of animal protein, providing around 70% of the animal protein consumed in the country. Dried fish is considered as the poor man's protein because; it is the main source of animal protein of the households in low-income groups, especially the people living in areas other than the coastal belt. Main dried fish species produced in Sri Lanka, are Katta, Balaya, Keeramin, Seer, and Maduwa. Trincomalee, Mannar, Kalpitiya, Matara, Jaffna are the main districts which are produced marine dried fish. Dried fish industry is mainly carried out as cottage level industry. Traditional home scale technique is mainly performed for dried fish production by women as an extra source of income. Inland dried fish industry also has been developed in Anuradhapura, Pollonaruwa and Moneragala districts.

Salting and sun drying or smoke drying of fish is a traditional method of fish preservation employed in Sri Lanka. Dried fish production in the country mainly consists of micro level cottage enterprises, carried out predominantly by fisherwomen as a supplementary source of income. Dried fish is highly shelf stable commodity that cannot easily deteriorate during the supply chain from the producer to the final consumer. With the changes in life style of the Sri Lankan population the demand for dried fish has changed and the demand for better quality dried fish that are safe for human consumption, has increased. Therefore, dried fish quality and safety is a prime criterion in gaining access to competitive markets. 

Quality defects and safety hazards in dried fish may result in consumer rejection and lower sales. Deterioration of quality and safety attributes of dried fish may be the result of biological, microbiological, physiological, biochemical or physical factors acting on the dried fish. These factors are usually the result of a lack of proper training for product handlers, inadequate infrastructures and technologies, unnecessary delays, ineffective quality control and adverse environmental conditions. Proper food quality and safety management practices can be used to enhance the safety and quality of dried fish. Food standards, laws and regulations can also be used to maintain uniformity of dried fish quality and safety. In addition to that dried fish can be inspected by either governmental agencies or other authorized bodies to ensure a product's adherence to regulations regarding quality, wholesomeness and safety.

DRY FISH
Dried Fish


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