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Product Code: 00007255

No of Pages: 124

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This study designed, fabricated and evaluated drying performance of a solar fish dryer. Fish samples (225g each) were processed using open sun drying (CCC), fabricated solar dryer (BBB) and smoke drying (DDD). The unprocessed sample (AAA) served as the control. Samples were randomly assigned to the three (3) drying methods and replicated twice. Samples were analyzed for proximate, microbiological, physiochemical, vitamins and mineral composition, using standard labouratory procedures. Data were also collected for organoleptic properties. Data obtained were subjected to the analysis of variance. Decrease in moisture content was observed during processing using the various drying methods until samples attained constant weight within 40-64hours. The proximate composition of the fish samples were significantly (p≤0.05) affected by the different drying methods. Moisture ranged from 10.05-40.95%, indicating potentials for storage stability for sample BBB and CCC. Carbohydrate, Crude fibre and ash were generally low while protein and fat were high ranging from 37.48%-55.61% and 16.20%-30.30% respectively. AAA and CCC showed significantly (p≤0.05) higher microbial load on both the nutrient agar and macConkey agar. pH of samples was not significantly (p≤0.05) affected by drying methods. The free fatty acid and peroxide values of the samples ranged from 1.38-5.02Mg/KOH/g and 1.10-2.90Mg/Kg respectively. These were generally higher in CCC, indicating its potency to develop off flavor. The different processors used significantly (p≤0.05) affected the level of acceptability of the samples by the panelists. DDD recorded the highest level of acceptance among the samples, followed by BBB, CCC and AAA respectively.



Title page                                                                                                                    i

Declaration                                                                                                                  ii

Certification                                                                                                                iii

Dedication                                                                                                                  iv

Acknowledgement                                                                                                      v

Table of Content                                                                                                         vi

List of Tables                                                                                                              xi

List of Figures                                                                                                             xii

List of Plate                                                                                                                xiii

Abstract                                                                                                                      xiv

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION                                                             

1.1  Background of  Study                                                                                            1

1.2 Statement of Problem                                                                                           6

1.3 Justification                                                                                                           6

1.4 Objective of Study                                                                                               7

CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW                                                 

2.1 Fish                                                                                                                       9

2.1.1 Group of fishes                                                                                                  11

2.1.2 Types of fishes                                                                                                   12 Common carp                                                                                                  12 Atlantic cod                                                                                                    12 African catfish                                                                                                            13 Atlantic mackerel                                                                                            13 Tilapia fish                                                                                                      13 Bony fish                                                                                                        14 Salmon fish                                                                                                     14

2.1.3 Sources and origin of common Fishes                                                               14

2.1.4 Fish cultivation in Africa                                                                                   15

2.2 Fish Spoilage and Causes                                                                                     17

2.2.1 Post harvest fish losses                                                                                      17

2.2.2 Autolysis                                                                                                            18

2.2.3 Bacteria                                                                                                              19

2.2.4 Rancidity                                                                                                           21

2.2.5 Mechanical damage                                                                                           21

2.3 Methods of Fish Preservation                                                                               21

2.3.1 Salting                                                                                                                23

2.3.2 Cold storage method of fish preservation                                                         23

2.3.3 Frying method of fish preservation                                                                   25

2.3.4 Canning method of fish preservation                                                                26

2.4 conventional Drying Methods                                                                              27

2.5 Drying Methodology                                                                                            28

2.5.1        Natural drying methods                                                                                  29 Direct method                                                                                                 30 Indirect method                                                                                              31 Green house solar dryer                                                                                  32

2.5.2 Artificial drying methods                                                                                  33 Convective drying                                                                                          33 Drying by radiation                                                                                         34 Freeze drying                                                                                                  34 Osmotic drying                                                                                               36

2.6 Quality Loss of Traditionally Dried Fish                                                              37

2.7 Drying Kinetics and Modelling                                                                            38

2.7.1 Effect of air temperature and air velocity on drying kinetics                            40

2.7.2 Effect of shape on drying kinetics                                                                     41

2.7.3 Effect of pre-treatment on drying kinetics                                                        42

2.7.4 Effect of relative humidity on drying kinetics                                                  43

2.8 Commercial Dried Products                                                                                 44

2.8.1 Dried meat products                                                                                          44

2.8.2 Powdered products                                                                                            45

2.8.3 Drying of cereals and pulses                                                                              46

2.8.4 Dried cultures                                                                                                    46

2.8.5 Dried fruits and vegetables                                                                                47

2.9 Effect of Smoking Methods on Quality of Fish                                                   47

2.9.1 Hot smoke                                                                                                          50

2.9.2 Open fire smoking                                                                                             52

2.9.3 Cold smoking                                                                                                     52

2.11 Effects of sun and oven drying on fish                                                              53

CHAPTER 3: MATERIALS AND METHODS                                                  

3.1 Materials                                                                                                               54

3.2 Methods                                                                                                                54

3.2.1 Construction of the solar dryer                                                                          54 Drying chamber                                                                                              55  Cover plate                                                                                                      55  Cover                                                                                                              55  Air gap (inlet and outlet)                                                                                55  Drying tray                                                                                                      55  Orientation of solar collector (glass)                                                               56  Angle of tilt of solar collector                                                                         56

3.2 Expected Heat Flux that will be generated by the Fabricated Dryer                   57

3.2.1 Minimum expected heat flux that will be generated by the dryer

within                                                                                                                 57

3.2.2 Maximum expected heat flux that will be generated by the dryer                    58

3.2.3 Average expected heat flux that will be generated by the dryer

within Umuahia region                                                                                      59

3.3 Performance Evaluation of the Solar Dryer                                                         59

3.3.1 Conventional open sun dried fishes                                                                   59

3.3.2 Drying of the fish with fabricated solar dyer                                                    59

3.3.3 Smoking of fish                                                                                                 59

3.4 Determination of Proximate Composition                                                            60

3.4.1 Determination of moisture content                                                                    60

3.4.2 Determination of ash content                                                                            60

3.4.3 Determination of fat content                                                                             61

3.4.4 Determination of protein content                                                                      61

3.4.5 Determination of crude fiber content                                                                62

3.4.6 Determination of carbohydrate content                                                             62

3.5              Determination of Physicochemical Properties                                                63

3.5.1 pH determination                                                                                               63

3.5.2        Peroxide values                                                                                               63

3.5.3 Determination of free fatty acid content                                                           64

3.6 Sensory Evaluation                                                                                               64

3.7 Microbiological Determination                                                                             65

3.8 Determination of Vitamin Composition                                                               65

3.8.1 Vitamin B1 (thiamin) determination                                                                  66

3.8.2 Vitamin A (retinol) determination                                                                     66

3.8.3 Vitamin C determination                                                                                   66

3.9 Determination of Mineral Composition                                                                67

3.10 Statistical Analysis                                                                                              68

CHAPTER 4: RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS                                                 

4.1 Drying Characteristics of Fish Samples                                                                69

4.2 Proximate Composition of Fish Samples                                                              73

4.3 Physicochemical Properties                                                                                   78

4.4 Microbiological Quality                                                                                        81

4.5 Vitamin Composition                                                                                            83

4.6 Mineral Composition                                                                                            85

4.7 Sensory Quality of Fresh and Processed Fish Samples                                        87


5.1 Conclusion                                                                                                            90

5.2 Recommendations                                                                                                90

References                                                                                                            91

Appendix                                                                                                              99







4.1 Drying characteristics of fish samples                                                                  70

4.2 Proximate Composition of Fresh and Dried Fish Sample                        77

4.3  Physiochemical Properties of Fresh and Dried Fish Sample                                80

4.4  Total Plate Count (CFU/g) of Fresh and Dried Fish Sample                               82

4.5 Vitamin Composition of Fresh and Processed Fish Sample                                 84

4.6 Mineral Composition of Fresh and Processed Fish Sample                                  86












3.1 One Chamber Cabinet Solar Dryer                                                                       57

4.1 Drying Curve                                                                                                        72

4.7 Mean Sensory Properties Scores of the Fish Samples                                          88










1: Photo of Fabricated Dryer                                                                                      89











Fish is a nutritious source of food of high quality protein often cheaper than meat though highly susceptible to deterioration without any preservative or processing measures (Okonta and Elkelemu, 2005). They are aquaticcraniategill-bearing animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfishlampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish as well as various extinct related groups. Around 99% of living fish species are ray-finned fish, belonging to the class Actinopterygii, with over 95% belonging to the teleost subgrouping (Weinmann et al., 2017).

Due to their chemical composition, fish muscle is perishable and its flavour and texture change rapidly after harvest and during storage. Harvesting, handling, processing and distribution provide livelihood for millions of people as well as providing foreign exchange to many countries (Al-Jufaili and Opara, 2006).

Preservation and processing therefore become important part of industrial fisheries. They are done in such a manner that the fishes retain their freshness for a long time, with a minimum loss of flavour, taste, odor and nutritive values. Freshness of fish is usually judged entirely in trade by its appearance, odor and texture of the raw fish. These assessments depend upon the senses, known as sensory or organoleptic evaluation (Sengar et al., 2012).

There are so many incidents of fish spoilage across the world, particularly in the tropics, which encourage microbial activities and chemical changes, with resultant fish deterioration and spoilage (Dalgaard et al., 2016). The spoilage process starts within 12 hours of their catch in the high ambient temperatures of the tropics. Rigor mortis is the process through which fish loses its flexibility due to stiffening of fish muscles after a few hours of its death (Ojutiku et al., 2009). Processing and preservation methods have been considered and used to prevent fish from spoilage.  Fish is a low acid food that supports growth of pathogens if not carefully handled and rapidly processed after harvest (Adebowale et al., 2013). Effiong and Fakunle (2011) reported that the decomposition or spoilage of fish flesh occurs mainly due to various chemical, microbial and the enzymatic actions. In Nigeria, the hot climatic condition favours rapid growth of bacteria and so the spoilage of fish flesh becomes inevitable. Landed fishes may ordinarily remain fresh for not more than 8hours and begin to decompose rapidly leading to post harvest losses (Haruna, 2003). Post-harvest losses in fish occur in various forms, namely physical, economical, and nutritional losses. The physical losses are caused by poor handling and preservation or the discarding of fingerlings. Economic losses occur when spoilage of fish results in a value decrease or when there is a need to reprocess cured fish; to raise the cost of the finished product, inadequate handling and processing methods can reduce nutrients leading to nutritional loss (Effiong and Fakunle, 2011). Preservative methods such as salting, fermenting, drying, and smoking are still widely accepted around the world because of their specific taste and aroma. However, these methods still differ from country to country and within each country in the amount of additives, percentage of salt or vinegar and maturing temperature (FAO, 2016).

Fish are regarded as a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals in the diet of people in many parts of the world including Asia and Europe. This is particularly true for the poor for whom it is the most cost-effective animal protein source. It was reported that amino acid composition of dried fish was of higher quality than that of eggs (Srivastava, 2015; Jonsson et al., 2017). Besides these, dried fish has considerably longer shelf life and requires no refrigeration facilities for storage (Immaculate et al., 2013). Due to these multitude of benefits, global resource utilization for processing of dried fish is considerably high, estimated to be 8% of the total world catch (Patterson et al., 2018). In this regard, livelihood activities of millions of fishermen, dried fish producer, wholesalers and retailers are directly connected to processing and marketing of dried fish (Nayeem et al., 2010a; Nath et al., 2013). It is particularly true for people in the marine sector engaged in the capture of fish where they are linked to traditional processing of dried fish (Reza et al., 2012). These activities in sun-dried fish processing and marketing are closely related to fisheries and aquaculture sectors and thereby play important role in employment, livelihood and economic opportunity for millions of people throughout the globe. Among the dried fish producing countries, these activities hold great importance for Nigeria as more than 17 million people including 1.4 million women depend on fisheries and aquaculture related activities such as fishing, farming, fish handling, and processing (BFTI, 2016; DoF, 2018).

Drying is a commonly accepted method of fish preservation with sun drying being the most widely practiced method throughout the world. Sun dying is also one of the world’s oldest known preservation methods (Govindan, 2017; Reza et al., 2012; Mansur et al., 2013). Sun drying alone, or in combination with salting, result in fish that are highly relished by people who prefer the characteristic flavour, taste and texture (Anon, 2012).

The advancement of sun drying is solar drying systems in which products are dried in a closed system with the inside temperature higher than the outside (Rajkumar, 2012). Solar drying is one of the most efficient and cost-effective, renewable, and sustainable technologies to conserve agricultural products in Asian and sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. In addition, the pre-eminent effects of their use on product quality, as well as their economic, environmental, and social impacts are acknowledged.

Solar dryers are beneficial than the sun drying techniques. However, solar dryers do have shortcomings. They are of little use during cloudy weather. During fair weather they can work well. Although, solar dryers involve an initial expense, they produce better looking, better tasting, and more nutritious foods, enhancing both their food value -and their marketability. They also are faster, safer, and more efficient than traditional sun drying techniques. Drying in the sun and in the open air is still the most commonly used method of preserving and processing agricultural products. However, uncontrolled drying suffers from severe dust problems caused by wind, insect infestation (Mujumdar, 2011), which could lead to gross contamination.

Fish smoking in the tropics is conducted in smoke houses, ovens or kilns with varying equipment and designs from place to place. They are categorically classified into traditional, improved traditional and mechanical smoking kilns. Some smoking kilns used in various localities include coal–pot kiln, whole drum kiln, Box kiln, Chorkor oven, and smoking platform (Oyeleye, 2003). In hot smoking, temperature may be between 60-1100C for 4-12 hours to eliminate spoilage by bacteria. Fish are laid in trays or hung in the column of smoke air above the fire (Egbal et al., 2010).

The Chorkor smoker oven is gaining acceptance in traditional fish smoking. The design base has a long life, low construction cost, and low firewood consumption. Smoking of fish could also be achieved with pit oven, mud kiln, and drum smoking kiln with a simple smoking rack earthen wave pot. However, the structures and the types of the smoking kilns vary from place to place. Improved smoking kiln equipment include Futy improved kiln, Altona smoking types of ovens and inners walker smokers. Efforts to improve the kilns and driers designs have in general been successful and have been introduced to small scale fish processors (Effiong and Fakunle, 2011).

A large quantity of fish is lost after harvesting, which is due to hot weather, low levels of post-harvest technologies and poor handling methods (Egbal et al., 2010) Fish is a highly perishable commodity and undergoes spoilage as soon as it lands. Spoilage occur before, during, and after processing or preservation and the odor, flavor, texture, color, composition and nutritive value changes in light of spoilage. The idea of fish processing and preservation is adopted to reduce post-harvest losses. The available drying methods currently in use lack information on the best among the three (smoking, direct sundrying and the fabricated solar dryer). Therefore, this study is designed to bridge such information gap. The aim of this study is to fabricate and evaluate comparatively the performance of a solar fish dryer with two other (smoking and direct sundrying) processing methods.



The objective of improving an indigenous system is to achieve a more sanitary and hygienic system, as well as a system for achieving technical efficiency in time, energy, labor and material use while focusing on improved product quality.

Dry fishes in Nigeria are either smoked or dried artificially using electricity or naturally in the open sun. Most open sun dried and smoked fishes are contaminated and have short shelf life. Fish smoking causes pollution and deforestation while artificial drying depends on electricity which is not cost effective and most often not available in the hinterland where fish are caught and processed. Solar drying is an alternative cost effective, hygienic and readily available dying method that is most appropriate for Nigerians. However, information on the quality of fish dried using locally fabricated solar dryer in Nigeria is scanty in the literature. A prototype solar fish dryer was therefore designed, fabricated and evaluated in this study.



Biochemical changes such as glycolysis caused by enzyme action, rigor mortis occurring in the muscle (stiffening of muscle), muscle tendering by post-rigor, autolysis caused by the action of proteinases (muscle protein enzymes) and finally, spoilage due to microbial action and release of mucus occur in fish. In processing, efforts are taken to counter the activities of these factors, in other to ensure a longer shelf life for fish, prevent fish spoilage and retaining physical and chemical characteristics of fish with its biological value and taste. Cooling, freezing, direct sun drying, smoking, heat treatment, salting and applying antimicrobial agents and antioxidants are used for processing and preservation (Amos, 2017). Effort should be made to avoid the health, fire risk and air pollution involved in these processing processes (Gokoglu, 2004). For instance, the quality of smoked fish from Nigeria has been reported to be within acceptable quality limits specified by various regulatory agencies such as SON. However, findings have revealed microbial contamination and the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in some smoked fish which values exceed the EU recommended maximum permissible level of 5.0 μg/kg for benzo[α]pyrene (Adeyeye, 2016). Adebowale et al. (2013) reported that appropriate improved processors and preservation techniques can significantly reduce fish spoilage thereby prolonging the fish shelf life, improving their nutritional values, taste, and market quality. It is in view of these that this study is design to generate useful information on the use and effect of a novel solar fish dryer, direct sun drying and smoking methods on the nutritive quality of fish.

Solar dryers have many advantages over open sun drying, smoking and artificial dryers in Nigeria. It depends solely on natural solar (sun) energy. Nigeria is in the tropics and has a prolonged high daily temperature to supply heat naturally to the environment. Solar dryer depends on sun energy. It is therefore environmentally friendly, relatively cheap, has little or no maintenance cost, durable, hygienic and feasible in every part of the country.


The main objective of this study was to construct and evaluate the performance of the solar fish dryer on the quality of dried fishes.

The specific objectives were to:

                                  i.            Construct a Solar fish dryer

                                ii.            Compare the drying characteristics of the constructed solar dryer with those of the open sundried and smoked fishes.

                              iii.            Determine the physicochemical (proximate, minerals, vitamins, PH, free fatty acid, peroxide value) properties of the fishes dried with constructed solar dryer, the open sundried and the smoked fishes.

                              iv.            Asses the microbial properties (total plate count) of the fishes dried with the constructed solar dryer, the open sundried and the smoked fishes.

                                v.            Asses the sensory properties (appearance, taste, aroma, mouthfeel, general acceptability) of the fishes dried with the constructed solar dryer, the open sundried and the smoked fishes.


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