Milk fish (Chanos chanos) or bangus is one of the staples in the Filipino diet. Notorious for its delectable meat full of bones, it is usually preferred by consumers when it is processed into boneless or soft-boned. Bangus products such as tinapang bangus and daing na bangus are amongst the breakfast staples of Pinoys.

tinapang bangus

Smoking is one of the oldest forms of food preservation according to studies. Smoking not only preserves the meat but also adds the appealing smoke flavor. In the Philippines, smoked fish products, commonly referred to as tinapa, are usually made from bangus or round scad (galunggong).

With the tight competition in the market and the growing awareness of the consumers, innovating products can provide a better chance at being successful. Tinapang bangus are all-over the market, you can find it most talipapa and palengke. Thus, it is quite a challenge to innovate this product.
SLSU’s herb-enhanced smoked soft-boned bangus

Prompted with the persistent demand for the supply of bangus in the local market, the Southern Luzon State University (SLSU)-Judge Guillermo Eleazar, in collaboration with Lamon Bay School of Fisheries, conducted a study that explored the product enhancement of smoked soft-boned bangus. Funded by the Bureau of Agricultural Research, through its National Technology Commercialization Program, the study aimed to: improve the existing processing facilities as well as the smoking process, identify the most acceptable herb enhancer in terms of taste and odor, enhance the market appeal and storage condition through proper packaging and labeling of the product, and commercialize the technology on enhanced smoked soft-boned bangus.

The study tested three herbs separately (i.e. tarragon, rosemary, and Italian oregano) to enhance the flavor and appearance of the smoked soft-boned bangus. These herbs were incorporated during the brining, pressure cooking, and smoking stages. Among these herbs, tarragon proved to be the most acceptable in terms of taste and appearance after a series of acceptability test.

Commercializing the herb-enhanced smoked soft-boned bangus

“The capability of the product to offer income to the adopters play a crucial role in the commercialization of technology,” said Mr. Cesar Nazareno, project proponent. Thus, the study also presented the cost and return analysis of tarragon-enhanced smoked soft-boned bangus.

The tarragon-enhanced smoked soft-boned bangus has higher return on investment (ROI) rate at 52 percent compared to the 29 percent ROI of plain smoked bangus according to the study. In the duration of the study, eight individuals adopted the technology on the tarragon-enhanced smoked soft-boned bangus. In their initial performance, two of them were able to generate an ROI of more than 60 percent.

Mr. Nazareno said, “[t]he technology on herb-enhanced smoked soft-boned bangus is found profitable owing to the initial results of ROI and increasing market demands. Increased income is attributed to value-adding in terms of herbs, proper packaging and labeling, and longer shelf life.”

As part of the study, the technology on herb-enhanced smoked soft-boned bangus was promoted through distributing information, education and communication materials (i.e. fliers and technoguides); conducting series of demonstrations and training for the prospective adopters and selected target market; and, exhibiting the product in forums, product exhibit, and trade exhibit.

Moving forward with the technology

According to Mr. Nazareno, project proponent, once the technology is embraced by fish smoking processors and penetrated the market, maximum utilization of the whole bangus is now feasible with the added nutritive value in terms of edible spines and herbs. More so, this new technology offers “many advantages to the resource fisherfolks who could raise the technology for his family and to the entrepreneur who could produce the product for profit,” said Dr. Victoria M. Noble, project leader. ###(Rena S. Hermoso)

For more information:
Dr. Victoria M. Noble
Project Leader
SLSU-Judge Guillermo Eleazar
Tagkawayan, Quezon
mobile: (0947) 175 8494