9. Recommendations

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Drying on raised platforms is only practiced in a few African countries. In places where raised platforms were introduced through sponsored projects most have been abandoned. There is an urgent need to intensify the education of processors on the advantages of drying fish on raised platforms. Governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) should assist processors to construct and use these platforms.

There is a need for a detailed study of the fermentation process in order to identify the specific species of micro-organisms involved in the different stages. It is also necessary to analyse the biochemical pathways of fermentation and determine the nature of the chemical compounds produced, and their role, as well as textural changes.

The processing methods of fessiekh could create avenues for microbial infection and risks of botulium, hence very regular microbiological tests need to be conducted on the finished products.

There is a need for intensive research on the use of insecticides for the preservation of dried fish so that residual levels can be assessed and hence the safety of the fish determined. The establishment of measures to control the usage of insecticides is also needed.

In view of the strong competition between fermented fishery products and artificial flavour enhancers, steps should be taken to improve the quality, packaging and presentation for more competitive retailing of fermented fishery products. The aim should be to get some of the traditional products on the supermarket shelves, similar to the way fermented anchovies have become a delicatessen product in the Mediterranean region.

If offals were disposed of properly, spoilage from blowfly infestation could be reduced considerably.

Countries should establish formal quality standards for fermented fishery products and this could enhance intraregional trade.

Studies should be carried out in the Savannah and Sahel regions to assess the extent of goitre in the region and its relationship with salt consumption. Salted fishery products could be a vehicle to boost iodine intake and reduce goitre among afflicted populations.

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