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Improved Quality of Dried Philippine Sandfish (Holothuria scabra) using a Combination of Hot-Air Drying and Solar Drying

Mark Jude F. Trondillo1, Kevin F. Yaptenco2, Engelbert K. Peralta3, and Ernesto V. Carpio4

 ABSTRACT

Traditional methods of processing and drying sandfish [Holothuria ((Metriatyla)) scabra] result in poor quality and low value products in the market. The drying process generally involves smoking and sun drying which can leave scorch marks and smoke residue, and result in inadequate drying especially during poor weather. A combination of hot air drying and solar drying (Treatment I) was compared to the traditional process of smoke drying followed by sun drying (Treatment II) to determine the effect on product quality and price. Results showed that significant shrinkage occurred regardless of the drying treatment used. Shrinkage was greater in samples subjected to the traditional process, although this was not statistically significant. Scanning electron microscopy revealed changes in muscle and collagen fibers between primary drying (hot air drying or solar drying) and secondary drying (solar drying or sun drying). Assessment of dried samples by a producer, consolidator, and exporter showed that processed sandfish dried using Treatment II had better quality and could command prices higher by 25-89% compared to Treatment I samples.

Keywords: Sandfish, sea cucumber, drying, shrinkage

1Dean, Institute of Computing, Engineering and Technology (ICET) and Chairperson, Agricultural Engineering Department, Southern Philippines Agri-business & Marine & Aquatic School of Technology, Digos City, Philippines (Author correspondence email: mtrondillo@yahoo.com; mtrondillo@gmail.com)
2Professor 2, 3Professor 4, Agricultural and Bio-Process Division, Institute of Agricultural Engineering, College of Engineering and Agro-industrial Technology, University of the Philippines Los Ban os, 4031 College, Laguna, Philippines
4Adjunct Professor, Institute of Food Science and Technology, College of Agriculture and Food Science, University of the Philippines Los Ban os, 4031 Colege, Laguna, Philippines