Proliferation of spoilage microorganisms during preprocessing delay, with associated deteriorative changes in non-protein nitrogenous substances and lipids, and its impact of the sensory characteristics of the final dried products were studied. Bombay duck was judged as unfit for human consumption beyond 8 hrs of exposure at 28°C. However, chilling the fish to 0°C or salting the fish after gutting at 28°C or drying at 45°C without delay effectively reduced the proliferation of spoilage microorganisms, and associated biochemical and sensory characteristics during drying. Higher levels of proteolytic and lipolytic bacterial load, free fatty acids, trimethylamine and total volatile bases due to predrying exposure at 28°C without salt or 10% salt solution resulted in dried fish with least sensorial characteristics. Predrying exposure at 0°C did not had any effect on the development of peroxides compared to 28°C, however exposure to saturated salt solution or dry salt enhanced the development of peroxides. Dressed Bombay duck, treated with 20% salt solution for 16 hours and artificially dried at 45°C was judged superior by sensory panel.

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