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Product development of chilled sea urichin for human consumption

Lako, Jimaima V. (2015) Product development of chilled sea urichin for human consumption. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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The widely distributed edible sea urchin (cawaki) species that grows wild in Fiji is the Tripneustes gratilla species. This species is mainly harvested near intertidal zones by women and are sold in the urban markets fresh either with shells or as the gonads packed in plastic containers. However it has not been commercially processed for sale in supermarkets or for export. Sea urchin gonads are rich in proteins and a good source of vitamin A and Bs, and are also believed to enhance virility. There has been no published research on the wild populations and catch data of sea urchins in Fiji and hence further research is warranted to establish these. This project aimed at developing fresh-chilled sea urchin gonad products and other high quality gonad products suitable for export. Three separate processing trials were conducted during November 2014 to March 2015 on sea urchin species Tripneustes gratilla that were harvested by Ministry of Fisheries officers from different locations in the Kalokolevu district to the west of Suva harbour. Harvesting was done on the day of processing and the whole urchins stored in a commercial chiller prior to processing. Samples were processed, preserved using selected preservatives, packed and stored in selected temperatures for shelf life determinations which included standard plate count, total coliforms, psychrophiles, pH, salinity and physical characteristics such as colour, texture, flavour and taste. The preservatives used were dry salt, salt solution or brine, alcohol and a solution containing dextrin, salt and sodium alginate. Storage temperature was varied between -5C to +5C or ambient (approximately 25-30C) and of up to 62 days. Microbial, organoleptic and chemical analyses were conducted in determining the shelf life of each product formulation and storage condition. The desirable organoleptic characteristics aimed at are bright mango-orange or yellow colour, whole firm texture, fresh seaweed odour, fresh seaweed-sweet taste and free of leaking fluids. Results showed that the most desirable and acceptable organoleptic characteristics were the gonads preserved in 5% dry salt stored at -5.40C with the shelf life of 23 days and the 8% alcohol mixed with 5% dry salt stored at ambient temperature with the shelf life of 34 days. These recommendations were obtained after evaluating the three trials of different processing procedures and formulation. It is interesting to note that brining appeared to be unacceptable due to the oozing and leaking of yellow and orange fluid into the brine, contributing to unacceptable milky-turbid solution. Soaking in sodium phosphate did not stop the oozing, instead aggravated milkiness and turbidity of brined samples hence, the adoption of dry salting and alcohol based preservation formulations respectively. Further work is required to test for consumer acceptance and for further inter-laboratory analyses to confirm the in-house and acceptability tests. Further research is also needed to establish the ideal time and protocol for harvesting including temperature and storage conditions prior to processing.

Item Type: Other
Additional Information: Draft Progress Report
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
Depositing User: Generic Account
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2016 02:37
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2016 21:25

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