Canning remains as one of the best methods of preventing spoilage that result from microbial action. The process must be adequate to eliminate heat resistant spores of Clostridium botulinum or other heat resistant spores.

Canning Procedures for Milkfish 1

Basic Procedures for Canning

Ingredients (per 307 x 201.25 can known as No. 2 flat):

Milkfish (dressed) 170 to 180 grams
Desired dressing or sauce 50 to 60 grams


1. Scale the fish and remove the head, fins, tail, belly flaps and internal organs.

2. Wash the fish thoroughly to remove the blood and other foreign matters.

3. Cut the fish transversely to fit size of the container, scrape off remaining blood vessels and black pigment and fat of the fish belly.

4. Soak in 90º salometer brine (22.5% salt solution) for 20 minutes. Drain.

5. Place the cut fish inside the cans.

6. Add 50 to 60 g of the desired sauce or dressing but leaving a space of about 42 mm from the top of the can.

7. Exhaust by heating the filled cans over steam or boiling water to an internal temperature of 82.2ºC (180ºF). For the size of the cans specified, it normally takes 20 minutes heating.

8. Seal cans completely and process according to Table 3

Dressings and Sauces:

a) Packed in brine “salmon style”: Add to fish 50 to 60 ml 2 percent brine.

b) Packed in tomato sauce “sardine style”: Mix together 12.6 g tomato sauce, 12.6 g tomato paste, 9.0 g corn oil and 0.7 ml hot pepper extract* . Heat to 82.2°C with constant stirring and add sauce to fish.

c) Packed “paksiw style”: Add to fish 3 g ginger, 1 g garlic, 5 g green bell pepper, 50 to 60 g 1:1 water-vinegar mixture.

d) Packed in curry: Prepare 50 to 60 g curry sauce by sautéing 2 g garlic, 9.7 g onion and 1 g curry powder in 7 g cooking oil. Add 10.9 g tomato sauce, 1.2 g pepper extract and 66 g coconut milk to which 2.3 g cornstarch has
been added. Simmer briefly.

*To prepare hot pepper extract, boil 1 part ‘siling labuyo’ in 3 parts water until soft. Remove the solids by straining.

Source: (Wilfredo G. Yap, Antonio C. Villaluz, Ma. Gracia G. Soriano, and Mary Nia Santos) Milkfish Production and Processing Technologies in the Philippines