Effect of post-slaughter time intervals on the quality of fresh and hot smoke-processed African catfish, Clarias gariepinus products was investigated. A total of one hundred and four live catfish (average weight 700.0±7.0 g) was slaughtered and smoked. Ten freshly slaughtered fish samples were selected for organoleptic assessment at 0, 4, 8 and 12 h post-slaughter respectively. Three fresh and smoked fish samples each were selected for chemical and microbial analyses using standard analytical procedures. Microbial load on both fresh and smoked fish samples increased significantly (p<0.05) with increase in post-slaughter time interval (PSI) with lowest value of 5.52±0.03 and highest value of 5.87±0.03 Log Cfu g-1 for fresh fish samples and lowest and highest values of 2.04±0.02 and 3.09±0.10 Log Cfu g-1 respectively for smoked fish samples. Bacteria isolates identified from fresh samples included: Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus spp and Staphylococcus aureus; while E. coli, S. aureus and Bacillus spp. were isolated from smoked fish samples. Protein and ash contents of fresh fish samples increased progressively with increasing PSI while moisture content decreased; and lipid content remained unchanged. Protein, lipid and ash contents of smoked C. gariepinus significantly (p<0.05) decreased with increased PSI while moisture content increased significantly (p<0.05) with increasing PSI. This study suggests that C. gariepinus should be smoked immediately after slaughter for best quality hot-smoked fish products.
A.A. Ayeloja, F.O.A. George, S.O. Obasa and L.O. Sanni, 2011. Effect of Post-slaughter Time Intervals on the Quality of the African Catfish, Clarias gariepinus (Burchell, 1822). American Journal of Food Technology, 6: 790-797.