Sea cucumbers (balatan or trepang) are marine invertebrates that can be processed as smoke-dried or boil-dried. They are usually prepared as delicacies, condiments for soups, noodles and other dishes, and as salad, eaten fresh or fermented.
In dried form, the product contains 43% protein, 2% fat, 21% minerals, 17% moisture, and 7% insoluble ash.
Sources of Sea cucumbers
Sea cucumbers are collected from coastal waters. The supply peaks in the summer months, from March to mid-July.
Sea cucumber processing is an industry in Calatagan, Batangas; Mauban and Pollilio Islands in Quezon; Puerto Princesa, Palawan; Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte; Sorsogon; in the towns of Bolinao and Bani, Alaminos in Pangasinan; San Fernando, La Union; San Vicente, Cagayan; Masinloc, Zambales; Cebu and Negros Occidental; Villareal and Catbalogan in Samar; Surigao del Norte; South Cotabato; Tawi-tawi; and Sulu.
Sea cucumbers are valued for their exotic flavor and medicinal properties. They have curative properties for ailments such as high blood pressure, muscular disorders, whooping cough, bronchial inflammation, and minor wounds.
In processing sea cucumbers, fresh sea cucumbers are boiled for 3-5 minutes. A slit about 2-3 cm long is cut on the belly portion of the sea cucumber to remove the dirt and entrails. After which, the sea cucumbers are boiled for another 10-20 minutes. To remove the calcareous substances that adhere or are attached to their skin, the boiled sea cucumbers are cleaned with 200 g of papaya leaves. After cleaning, the sea cucumbers are washed in water with 5% alum. They are then smoked, sundried and packed prior to marketing.
An artificial smoke-dryer fueled by agrowaste materials (e.g., coconut husks, sugarcane bagasse, etc.) was fabricated, tested and proven to be effective in improving the quality and prolonging the shelf-life of smoke-dried sea cucumbers. The dryer can process 100 kg of sea cucumber per operation which lasts for about 8 hours.
Application of the Technology:
The technology on smoked-dryer of sea cucumbers significantly improved the quality of the product and prolonged its shelf-life,thereby increasing its export potential and ensuring the availability of processed sea cucumber products at all times. One of the
Possible Areas of Technology Application:
Sea cucumbers are collected from the coastal waters and are processed in Calatagan, Batangas; Mauban and Polillo Islands in Quezon; Puerto Princesa, Palawan; Camarines Sur and Camarines, Norte Province fo Sorsogon; in the towns of Bolinao, Bani and Alaminosin Pangasinan; San Fernando, La Union; San Vincente, Cagayan,; Masinloc, Zambales; Cebu, Negros Occidental; Villareal and Catbaloga;Masinloc, Zambales; Cebu, Negros Occidental;Villareal and Catbalogan in Samar; Surigao del Norte; South Cotabato; Tawi-Tawi; and Sulu.
The demand for smoke-dried or dried sea cucumbers is high in Asian countries. These are being sold in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Singapore, and the People’s Republic of China, In the Philippines, the Chinese are the major buyers of sea cucumber of products which can be found or are available in first class hotel and restaurants.
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