There are several methods in preserving fish. Fish preservation involves Chilling and Freezing, Salting, Fermentation, Drying and Dehydration, Smoking, Pickling and Spicing, and Canning.
There is one thing first to consider, make sure that the fish that is going to be preserve is new and still fresh.
The method of Chilling and Freezing; if the fish is exposed to a low temperature environment, the growth of the microorganisms could be prevented; this could lead to spoilage prevention. The appropriate temperature is 0 degree Celsius which involves the use of ice or a refrigerator.
The use of ice for chilling is very much convenient and widely used in the markets. If you are going to use ice for fish preservation, make sure that you have sufficient amount of ice. To keep the fish properly chilled with ice, usually the coarser ice should be put on the top while the melted ice should be put below.
Fish can also be preserved by the way of salting. Salt elements will lower the water content below the point where bacteria or microorganisms can no longer live and grow. In the time that water passes out from the tissues of the fish, the salt will going to penetrate the fish tissues until the salt solutions filled it in. This is called as the “osmosis” absorption process.
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Fish fermentation can also preserved fish. It is the process of breaking down the protein in the fish caused by an enzymatic action. It is called as hydrolization. In this process of fermentation, the flesh of the fish is allowed to get “ripe”; this is the state where the flesh of the fish will start to disintegrate before it is going to undergo “aging”. In normal process, fermentation takes up to 8 months. It will take less than a month that if pure salt is used and the temperature is increased from 37 degree Celsius up to 45 degree Celsius. In the later fermentation process, the activity is faster.
Drying and Dehydration is another technique. This involves the removal of water content from fish tissues until the moisture of the fish is extracted. In this process the growth of microorganisms is prevented. This can be done naturally using the heat of the sun. It is called as solar drying. Dehydration is another method in drying fish. It is done through the use of artificially heated air through the use of mechanical driers.
Smoking is also another method in fish preservation. This process gives the fish a desirable flavor and odor as well as preserving it. Smoking is usually done through four processes. First is cleaning the fish. Second is brining which is soaking the fish in a brine solution. The third is drying and the fourth one is smoking the fish. In smoking process, the length of smoking time usually takes up to 30 to 45 minutes and the temperature is 85 degree Celsius. Hardwoods together with plant leaves are commonly used.
Pickling and spicing; this method in fish preservation used vinegar and other spices. The growth of bacteria and other organisms is prevented by the acetic acid of the vinegar; the vinegar will preserve the fish as well as improves its taste.
Canning is another method in fish preservation. It is the process of preservation that uses hermetically sealed containers such as bottles or cans. The procedure of heating the fish before and after canning can kill bacteria and other microorganisms that can cause fish spoilage.