Development of calcium enriched fish-based sausages and evaluation of their potential for consumption
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Fish is well recognized as a healthy meat because of the presence of proteins, polyunsaturated fatty acids, minerals and vitamins and development of convenient fish products is one way to increase consumption. Development of most of these products often entails the use of fish mince which is low in minerals especially calcium. Fish bones, which are discarded in the product development process, contain high levels of calcium. Therefore, researchers are concerned about using these bones to process calcium-enriched food products. However, there is limited information on utilization of fish bone soup to enrich fish products. Fish sausage is one of the products from fish mince which can be used as a vehicle for incorporation of calcium from fish bones because it can easily be consumed as a snack. The main objective of this study was to optimize ingredients for production of fish sausages with increased calcium levels. Design expert (version 11) was used to optimize ingredients for production of calcium enriched and acceptable fish sausages from either Nile perch or tilapia mince and fish bone soup as a calcium source. Commercially available fish sausage was used as a control. The nutritional value, sensory quality, physico-chemical properties, and shelf life of the sausages were determined using standard methods. Nutrition knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) with respect to fish sausages were also determined to provide information for the product promotion. There were significant differences in the nutritional composition of the fish sausages (p<0.05) produced. Tilapia sausages (TS) had the highest values for moisture (72.3±1.69) while Nile perch sausages (NPS) had the highest value for calcium and fat (177.442mg/100gand 3.76% respectively). The highest value for protein, ash and carbohydrate was recorded in the control (19.21%,1.19% and 6.56% respectively). There were no significant differences in the acceptability of the sausages from different formulations (p>005). The highest water holding capacity (17.6 g H2O/ g sample) was recorded in NPS while TS exhibited a higher pH value (5.8). Sausages from Nile perch and tilapia mince had cooking yield of 92.56 % and 86.98% respectively which were insignificantly higher than that of the control (86.47%). Results for KAP indicated that 68%of the respondents considered fish sausage a good source of proteins and 17% considered it a good source of fats. Based on the enhanced calcium levels and sensory acceptability of developed fish sausages, it can be concluded that there is potential for commercial production of calcium enhanced fish sausages. The low knowledge on nutritional value of fish sausages would need to be addressed if the product is to be promoted for its nutritional value.