Abdullah Al Mizan, Imran Ali Sheikh, Md. Ashraf Hussain & Md. Abu Sayeed
Department of Fisheries Technology and Quality Control, Sylhet Agricultural University, Sylhet-3100, Bangladesh
Bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis), constituting a considerable portion of fish production in Bangladesh, face challenges due to low consumer preference and relatively modest sale value. The development of convenient fish products could be a better solution for the maximum utilization of this species. The study, therefore, sought to investigate the viability of manufacturing a convenient product such as a finger from Bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) by determining the quality of the finger during storage at refrigerated condition (4±1°C) for 16 days and frozen condition (-18±2°C) for 120 days. Throughout the storage periods, the finger's nutritional composition, and biochemical, microbiological, and sensory properties were examined. In the case of nutritional composition during both refrigerated and frozen storage, a significant decrease in moisture and an increase in fat content were observed (p<0.05), while protein and ash contents remained relatively stable. The products' pH, total volatile base nitrogen, free fatty acid, thiobarbituric acid, and bacterial counts increased significantly as the storage time progressed. These results showed that the quality of the bighead carp finger declined over time, with faster deterioration observed at refrigerated temperature than in frozen temperature. Throughout both storage periods, a highly significant correlation (p<0.01) was identified between the biochemical parameters and microbial counts. Sensory evaluations indicated a gradual decline in product quality, with refrigerated bighead carp fingers exhibiting a more rapid decline compared to their frozen counterpart. Based on sensory ratings, the shelf life of refrigerated and frozen fingers was determined to be 12 and 120 days respectively. The overall results indicate that bighead carp finger holds promise as a valuable product, and freezing could serve as an efficient preservation technique to extend its shelf life effectively. The knowledge generated from this research can be invaluable for fisheries extension programs, enabling them to promote the production and marketing of this product to enhance the economic prospects of local fisher communities.