Title: An analyisis of quality deterioration at critical steps/points in fish handling in Uganda and Iceland and suggestion for improvement

Author(s): Amos Bataringaya
Final project
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Supervisors: Hjorleifur Einarsson


In this report, fish handling steps prior to processing in Uganda and Iceland were studied empirically. The effects of fish age (post-catch days) and mechanical load on the sensory, microbiological and chemical qualities of cod (Gadus morhua) were also investigated. The effects of mechanical load were investigated by subjecting one lot of fish to mechanical load for seven days and the quality was then compared to the other lot without load. Sensory results of post-catch days analysis showed increased quality deterioration of cod on post-catch days 7-11 than post-catch days 1-7. Fish subjected to mechanical load exhibited more sensory quality loss and higher total microbial counts in the flesh and lower counts on the skin surface as opposed to fish that was not exposed to mechanical load. TVB-N was also slightly higher in fish with load. The overall results suggested that fish quality deterioration in Uganda is mostly due to bacterial growth. It is thus recommended that fish shouldn’t be kept beyond six hours at ambient temperature before it is iced if its shelf life is to be maintained to meet the market’s quality demands.

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