The salty fish that consumers demand is salted fish that color and texture is good enough. It will be difficult to achieve if the salting method used is not appropriate, the raw materials are processed less quality, and how to store bad products. This is what causes some salted fish producers to take a shortcut by using formalin on salting process to produce salted fish with good texture and color.
Formalin or known as formaldehyde is an organic chemical compound with HCHO empirical formula and a molecular weight of 30.04 grams / mol. Formaldehyde solution is a solution with 37% by weight of formaldehyde gas in water, typically with 10 – 15% methanol to prevent polymerization (Anonymous, 1983). Formalin is usually used in the preservation of animals and corpses. In addition formalin is also used as a disinfectant, fumigant, fungicide, water resistant Iern, and resin.
Formalin in high doses can cause skin irritation, abdominal pain, lack of protein, excess acids, headaches, coma, even death. The use of formalin as an additional ingredient in the process of preservation of salted fish allows the occurrence of poisoning hazards. Therefore, before the processed salted fish usually soaked first in the water soaking newspaper, brine, or clean water.
Ways of working
a) Dispose of the fish’s stomach, keep the bile not broken;
b) For large fish, cut fish 2-3 cm thick, while for medium and small fish, split the fish from the back;
c) Wash the fish, then put in vats or barrels and sprinkle with salt;
d) Arrange fish in a tub or wooden barrel interspersed with a layer of salt, then cover with wood;
e) Store indoors without direct sunlight for 3 days;
f) Dry to dry, for about 3 days;
g) Pack salted fish and store in a dry and clean place.
Figure 12. Drying of salted fish
There are several ways to speed up the drying of salted fish:
1) Dry the fish on the tops of approximately 1 m above the ground in the open courtyard;
2) Drying fish in the dryer room of the solar dryer ;
3) Drain the hot air to the surface of the fish in the room ( mechanical dryer );
4) Set the way of drying fish, not to stack;
5) Splitting fish meat;
6) Make an incision on fish meat.