Small fish drying machines preserve the nutritional value of fish, its texture, and its taste. Dried fish is quite trendy in Africa and is also known as Matemba, Daaga, etc. Using small fish dryer machines preserves the proteins and micronutrients found in small pelagic fish in the ocean. These micronutrients are essential in the diet of children, pregnant and lactating women, as well as malnourished communities.
For mass production, the small fish drying process starts with cleaning the fish. It includes the preliminary screening of the small fish and removing its gills, internal organs, and residues. This is followed by steaming it in the steamer. Then the steamed fish is put to dry in a tray on the cart of the fish drying machines, which is kept in the drying room. The initial temperature is maintained at 40 degrees for 4 hours, and the humidity is also at 55%. The temperature then increases to 60 degrees, and humidity is maintained at 36% for 10 hours. The final stage requires the drying temperature to be 68 degrees for 6 hours, and the humidity is controlled at 18%.
After the drying process is over, the fish is taken out of the oven and sent for packaging. Small dried fish are packed in grades and kept away from light.
Traditional drying of small fish requires a large area for drying and is easily affected by factors like weather, easy-to-breed flies, high manual labor intensity, and food hygiene. Also, individual enterprises may use coal stoves for drying where the temperature is very high; the quality is poor, the sulfur content of the smoke exceeds the standard, oil production is serious, the luster and color of the fish are different, the humidity and temperature are difficult to control, and requires constant guarding by labor. But a small fish heat pump dryer simulates the environmental conditions of natural drying and is used in the drying process of small fish and other aquatic products.
Drying fish in a dehydrator is carried out at a relatively low temperature so that the high temperature does not affect the quality of the fish after drying. The moisture in fish is mostly stored in fats and oils, which makes dehydration difficult. Hence, controlling the dehydration rate is critical since rapid dehydration can destroy the fish’s drying quality and require a longer drying time. Fish that is dried at a controlled temperature does not lose its nutritional value and also tastes better. It retains protein, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids, thus reducing heart attacks and keeping body circulation well. Fish dehydration also inhibits microbial growth and slows the enzymatic process responsible for fish spoilage. There are many pump fish dehydrators that are suitable for drying all types of freshwater and marine fish, which helps in long-term storage and convenient transport.
To Sum Up
Fish heat pump dryers enable a drying process that meets food security requirements. It comes with automatic controls and eliminates waste residue during the process. Therefore, many dry fish manufacturers are using small fish dehydrators instead of the traditional method.
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