Fish Processing Techn. Launched

SONY DSCA fish processing technology has been developed and launched in Accra to help Ghana produce healthier smoked fish which meets local and international food standards.

The technology, which is an improved version of the Chokor Fish Smoker introduced in Ghana in the early 70’s, has been moulded to significantly reduce the negative health effects on smoked fish and the community at large.

The fish smoker described as the World’s Thiaroye Fish Processing Technology (FTT), was developed with funding and support from the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) under SNV-Ghana’s ‘Improved cook-stove for productive use project’ which commenced in 2012.

Launching the technology yesterday the Country Director of the FAO, Dr. Lamourdia Thiombiano said the FTT was a market driven technology which took into cognizance the energy and efficiency in the production of a healthier and better fish.

“ This new technology transfer aims at supporting the fisheries sector, especially the small and medium scale fisheries in enhancing profitability, poverty reduction and contribution to the sustainable development goals,” he said.

The contribution of the FTT, he noted, could be substantiated in Ghana due to the capita fish consumption of 23kg per head which was significantly higher than the world’s average of 19kg and the wide range of economic opportunities the fisheries sector provided.

Dr.Thiombiano said FTT was in consistent with the FAO’s mandate of ensuring food and nutrition security for all adding, “it bolsters the access by all to high-quality food and sustains greater post-harvest benefits”.

The FAO’s Country Representative thanked the Government of Ghana for its continuous partnership with FAO in bringing solutions that impacted on the lives and livelihoods of Ghanaians, most especially the rural and poor.

Madam Amamda Childress, Country Director of SNV, for her part said the FTT was dual smoking and mechanical drying technique.

“The FTT unlike the Chorkor stove, comprised two separate chambers thus a Fire and smoke Chamber which controls contamination of the fish by Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons PAHs, which poses public health hazards,” she said..

The Fire chamber uses either gas or charcoal to produce heat to grill the fish after which it is transferred to the smoke chamber for final smoking with the use of local wood sponge to prevent the smoke from having contact with the fish.

Another component of the technology is the fat collector which filters and contains the fish oil and other watery substance from the fish to help prevent the formation of ‘Benzo Apyrere,’ a toxic substance of the fish.

Madam Childress stated that traditionally smoked fish from Ghana only sells at the local markets, because the fish products do not meet the standards for the European and other international markets due to the high PAHs in the smoked fish hence the new technology.

She further expressed gratitude to the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) and the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, for their continuous support and cooperation since the inception improved fish smoking project.

Mr, Eugene Adarkwah Addae, the Executive Director of the GSA, urged fish mongers to observe and use the set standards in their work stressing that the technology was for a simpler and smarter use for the smoking and better and safe products.

He assured that the GSA together other partners would be readily available to provide a special FTT transfer training for stakeholders, fish processing entrepreneurs, smokers, and exporters as well as building companies on the design and construction of the FTT technology.

By Linda Aryeetey

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