Research Article

Quality Assessment of Processed Sandfish (Holothuria scabra) Using Papaya Leaves to Remove its Hard Spiculy Layer

Rosa A. Bassig*, Adoracion V. Obinque, Vivian T. Nebres, Virginia H. Delos Santos, Gielenny M. Salem, Junwell S. Cabigao, Charlotte Ann M. Ramos, Ariel Joshua J. Madrid, Rosario J. Ragaza


The presence of chalky deposits or hard outer covering and extraneous matter are some reasons for product downgrading of dried sandfish, Holothuria scabra, locally known as balat or balatan. Various amounts of fresh papaya leaves, namely, 50, 75, 100, 150, and 200 grams, were used to test its effectiveness in removing the hard spiculy layer on cooked sandfish and assessing its product quality. Results showed that using 75 grams of papaya leaves with 80 minutes of brushing time was found to be effective as 71-85% of the hard spiculy layer was removed. The final products’ colors were black to brown, no off-odor or decomposition detected, with a hard texture and completely dried product. The mean water activity (Aw) was 0.787, an amount within the range of 0.80-0.60 for dried foods, and the mean moisture content was 4.31%, which is far below the acceptable limit of 15% for dried sea cucumber. In addition, the dried sandfish had 69.5% protein, 1.42% fat, 1.88% total carbohydrates, and 298 kcal food energy. The study was conducted on a laboratory scale only, and commercialization should be carried out.

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Keywords: balat, balatan, sea cucumber, processing, papaya leaves, papain, hard spiculy layer

*Corresponding Author:

Fisheries Postharvest Research and Development Division,
National Fisheries Research and Development Institute, Quezon City, Philippines