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Fisherfolks develop upgraded dried tilapia

By JOHN MAICO HERNANDEZ

AGONCILLO, Batangas – AFTER a big blow of fishkill incidents last month that claim millions of pesos from fisherfolks at the Taal Lake, a new prospect for the Agoncillo’s tilapia develops now.

Agoncillo’s tilapia was subjected into a value-addition process which developed dried and marinated tilapia products through the use of the Industrial Technology Development Institute’s (ITDI-DOST) technology on fish processing recently.

The technology aimed the improvement of the existing fish processing technology transferred through a conduct of training integrated with current Good Manufacturing Practices in benefit of the Bilibinwang Multipurpose Cooperative members. The cooperative has been engaged into agricultural services, mini grocery and loan services since its founding time and has ventured in tilapia fish processing in an aim to utilize its abundance resource in their locale.

Through the use of the mechanical dryer provided by DOST CALABARZON under the Grants-in-Aid program, Ms. Charito Villaluz, Senior Science Research Specialist and Ms. Joan Marie Ramos, Science Research Assistant, both of ITDI-DOST, taught the technology on processing dried and marinated tilapia. A preliminary assessment to determine the participants’ level of knowledge on tilapia fish processing was conducted by Ms. Villaluz prior to the conduct of the training proper.

Standard process on tilapia fish processing and other products aligned with the technology was discussed. Lamayo or the semi dried tilapia fish was among the new products introduced to participants. As demonstrated by trainers, this can be done using a conventional equipment. Critical points such as cleaning and de-scaling, removal of guts and gills, splitting, washing, and sorting processes which could be addressed using a specific technique were also demonstrated to participants.

Trainers also shared three styles of processing tilapia, namely, salted, acidified (marinated) and tocino-styled. According to them, small and medium fishes require shorter soaking and drying time because of the surface area compared to large ones and that must be done in actual process.

Meanwhile, to secure food safety among the produce, Mr. John Michael Florendo, Science Research Specialist I of DOST Batangas, facilitated a training on current Good Manufacturing Practices which covered topics on basic food hygiene, hand washing procedure, proper food handling and hazards. The cooperative is expected to materialize the upgraded tilapia into production to fully utilized their fish processing facility established with the assistance of DOST and Department of Agrarian Reform.|