Chemical and Microbiological Analysis of Traditional Fermented Fish and Meat Products Collected from Battambang, Cambodia
    1. Faculty of Chemical and Food Engineering, Institute of Technology of Cambodia, Russian Federation Blvd., P.O. Box 86, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Received: September 06,2022 / Revised: Accepted: December 21,2022 / Published: June 30,2023

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Cambodia is extremely reliant on biodiversity and aquatic ecosystems. Fish accounts for more than 80% of total animal protein intake, particularly in the rural community. Among fishery products in Cambodia, fermented fish called “Nem” is growing more popular and well-known to even outside of their original geographical regions. “Nem” is the kind of traditional lactic acid fermented freshwater fish of Cambodia that is consumed as raw. Three main types of ready-to-eat fermented fish and meat products named Nem Sach Chrouk, Nem Trey, and Sang Vak are formulated with ground pork skin and minced freshwater fish, respectively. Yet, reports of the chemical compositions, and microbiological aspect of these fermented products are limited. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to determine the physical characteristics, chemical compositions, and microbiological quality of 15 ready-to-eat fermented fish and meat samples collected from a well-known processing location, Prek Khporb village , Prek Khporb commune, Ek Phnom district, Battambang province, Cambodia. In this work, pH values were measured by using a pH meter and titratable acidity was done by titration method. Chemical compositions, including moisture, fat, ash, salt, and protein content, were examined by drying method, Soxhlet extraction, furnace, titration, and Kjeldahl method, respectively. As a result, the fermented fish and meat samples showed the pH and titratable acidity ranged from 4.52 to 5.12, and 1.31% to 2.47%. The chemical compositions such as moisture, fat, ash, salt, and protein contents of all samples were 58.65 to 68.07 g/ 100g, 0.40 to 5.45 g/ 100g, 3.01 to 4.40 g/ 100g, 1.40 to 2.31 g/ 100g, 11.97 g/100g to 13.82 g/100g, respectively. Bacterial viable count concentrations had a range between 5.85 to 7.98 log cfu/g. Among all samples, Sang Vak coded by BTB-SV1 provided the highest protein content with low salt concentration, high ash content, and acceptable microbial concentration detected. The results indicated that Cambodian fermented fish and meat products were produced with low salt content and contained high level of minerals as well as the good source of protein for human health.