Five UGM students have developed an innovative technology, a low-pollution smoked catfish apparatus capable of extending the product’s shelf life from only three days to up to five days.
“This device was created to help improve production, quality, product shelf life, and reduce air pollution during catfish smoking,” explained the team leader, Dinda Iffana Silma, on Tuesday (October 3) at UGM.
The UGM Chemical Engineering student explained that her team was motivated by the problems faced by the Wono Mina Sari Fish Farming Group in Banyusari Village, Magelang Regency.
The group farms catfish and produces processed catfish, including smoked catfish.
“The demand for smoked catfish is quite high. Unfortunately, this fish farming group in Magelang conducts smoking using conventional methods and makeshift equipment, which requires a long smoking duration,” she said.
Dinda Silma was joined by her colleagues from the Faculty of Engineering and Vocational College, namely Ademas Alam Pangestu (Instrumentation and Control Engineering Technology), Rakha Naufal Flazui Handoko (Mechanical Engineering), Irvan Gibran (Chemical Engineering), and Nabila Hasna Karimah (Industrial Engineering).
The device was developed under the guidance of Dr. Widya Rosita, with funding from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology’s Student Creativity Program for Technology Application in 2023.
Nabila Karimah added that the lengthy production process resulted in dark-colored and easily burnt smoked catfish products. This condition significantly affected the product’s appearance, making it less appealing to consumers.
“The long production process leads to fuel wastage and difficulty meeting market demand,” Karimah added.
Moreover, the catfish smoking process produces smoke waste that can pollute the environment, and the resulting smoked catfish product has a short shelf life.
“The smoked catfish product produced by the farming group had a shelf life of only three days. However, with the implementation of this technology, its shelf life can be extended to up to 5 days,” Dinda Silma added.
The team leader explained that this device could increase production quantity by up to 30 kg in one production cycle. The production time can also be significantly reduced, from the previous 8 hours per production to just 2-4 hours.
Rakha Handoko added the faster smoking process has a six-fold capacity increase compared to previous methods and is operated at a constant temperature. A more enclosed smoking apparatus with multiple smokestacks achieves a faster smoking process with a constant temperature.
The smokestacks come from the fuel source directly to the catfish, facilitating the direct transfer of smoke mass and heat to the catfish.
“The smoke resulting from the process will be processed into grade 1 liquid smoke using multi-stage distillation technology, which can be used as a preservative for smoked catfish and an additional product for our partner,” Handoko explained.
“Liquid smoke can extend the shelf life of smoked catfish and make the appearance of the catfish more appealing.”
The Chair of the Wono Mina Sari Fish Farming Group, Andi, expressed how much they have been helped by the smoked catfish apparatus developed by UGM students.
One of the benefits they have experienced is that the device can speed up and improve the production process, thus increasing income. Moreover, the hazardous smoke can be processed into liquid smoke to enhance the shelf life of smoked catfish and as an additional product.
“We are truly grateful for this smoked catfish technology created by UGM students. We hope this device can encourage efforts to process smoked catfish products, thereby improving the welfare of our group,” he said.
For more information about the smoked catfish apparatus, visit the Instagram account of the team @pkmpiugm_dismocat or contact them via WhatsApp at +62 812 3243 7694.
Photo: The low-pollution smoked catfish technology team