ASSESSMENT OF THE NUTRITIONAL QUALITY OF SMOKED CATFISH (CLARIAS GARIEPINUS) IN LAPAI, NIGER STATE, NIGERIA
This study examined the nutritional quality of smoked Catfish Clarias gariepinusI obtained in three different markets in Lapai, Niger State, Nigeria for a period of three months. Proximate compositions of smoked Clarias gariepinus were determined. The highest protein content (49.27 ± 2.59) was recorded in smoked fish obtained from Baddegi market and was not significantly different from that of other sampling sites (P>0.05), while the least protein (46.68 ± 0.52) recorded from Central market also shows no significant differences (P>0.05) from other sampling sites. Similar results were obtained for the fat, the differences in proximate composition of smoked fish in Lapai markets were not significant (P>0.05). The ash content of smoked fish in Efugwaja, Central and Baddegi markets showed significant differences (P<0.05) and these were also exhibited within the months. Sensory evaluation of smoked fish revealed that the taste was significantly different (P<0.05) in all the three market samples, while that of colour, texture and appearance were not significant (P>0.05).There was a significant different (P<0.05) in two minerals, Potassium and Sodium from Baddegi and Efugwaja markets. This study therefore recommends smoked method as one of the preservative process to maintain a longer shelf life for Clarias gariepinus for both commercial and domestic purpose, and still retain its nutritional qualities.