Salting techniques are common techniques combined with other preservation processes, such as draining or boiling. From this salting process is known three kinds of salted fish, namely:
a. salted salted fish (not dried after salting process)
b. dried salted fish (dried after salting process)
c. salted boiled fish (pindang fish, boiled after salting process).
Our society is very familiar with salted fish. Salted fish products can be enjoyed by various circles. In addition to cheap prices, salted fish products we can find in various regions. Salted fish that are known to the public are fish that have been processed or preserved by salting and drying method (dried salted fish).
Figure 11. Salted fish
Good salted fish is if it meets the requirements of Indonesian Industrial Standard (SII), namely:
1) Have normal smell, taste, and color, and good shape;
2) the highest water content of 25%;
3) Salt content (NaCl) between 10% – 20%;
4) Does not contain metal, mildew, nor does bacterial milking occur;
Level of freshness of fish, salting method, and storage method will affect the quality of salted fish produced. Salted fish often experience quality degradation during storage due to environmental conditions where the storage does not meet the requirements that have been determined. Damage to salted fish is usually caused by the activity of bacteria, fungi, and insect larvae. Some of the biological damage that is common in salted fish, including:
1) Pink spoilage
This type of biological damage is characterized by a reddish yellow color in salted fish. The cause of this type of salted fish damage is due to the activity of halophilic bacteria that decompose fish meat, causing the smell of rotten and rancid. The meat of salted fish becomes soft and easily detached from its bones. Types of bacteria that cause pink spoilage include Sarcina sp, Serratia, Salinaria , and Micrococci .
2) Dun spoilage
Dun spoilage is caused by mold growing on the surface of the meat salted fish and form a grayish color.
3) Rust spoilage
Rust spoilage is caused by a reaction between carbonyl compounds with amino acid compounds to produce a grayish-brown compound and a striking rancid odor.
The saponification-causing bacteria are the Myxobacteria species . The activity of these bacteria is anaerobic to produce foul smelling mucus.
The salted fish infested by the cauldron smells very rotten and appears stain or red spots along the fish’s backbone.
Fly larvae that attack salted meat are usually of Drosophila casei type .
Parasites commonly attack salted fish derived from the type Dermestiade . As a result of this parasite attack on salted fish will form a hole even salted fish meat into powder and arise a very bad smell.
8) Salt burn
Salt burn occurs due to excessive use of salt on salting process. The outside of dried salted fish, while the inside is still wet. This occurs because the process of water withdrawal is very fast on the meat of the outer fish, so the fish meat cells are coagulated resulting in late water diffusion process from the inner fish meat cells.
Fungi causing saltwater damage one of them is the fungus Sporendonemia epizoum. This type of fungus causes patches red on salted fish meat.