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Processing Quality Sea Cucumbers

This article is part of the #PelangiDiLautan : Welfare program for smiles at sea

This program is a collaboration between several blockchain-based companies to introduce and explore sea cucumbers more broadly, improve the standard of living and welfare of fishermen, and commit to realize a better economic ecosystem.

The writings in the #PelangiDiLautan program are inspired by the experience carried out in the Saumlaki area, West Southeast Maluku. However, some characters, characters, events, locations and dialogues are fiction and are arranged dramatically to make it more interesting. If there are similarities in the names of characters, places of events or stories, it is merely a coincidence and there is no element of intent

Sea cucumbers are one of the export commodities from marine products that need to be developed immediately for processing. This is necessary given the high economic value in the foreign market. Some species of sea cucumbers that have important economic value include: white sea cucumbers, Holothuria scabra, sea cucumbers, Microthele nobelis, sea cucumbers pandanus, Theenota ananas, sea cucumbers dong nga, Stichopus ssp. and several other types of sea cucumbers.

Sea cucumber export destination countries mostly are Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Japan. Dried sea cucumbers are generally processed by traditional processing,  the equipment that are still using a simple technique needs to regenerate.

The main problems that are quite critical and need attention in relation to getting good quality dried sea cucumbers are handling raw materials, cleavage / removal of draining stomach contents, occurrence of calcification on the surface of the skin, and ways of storage. With the better way of processing dried sea cucumbers, it is expected that the resulting products will be better. So that the export of dried sea cucumbers from processed products by traditional fishermen will increase and prices will get better too.

To get a good quality of dried sea cucumbers, the method of selecting and handling raw materials, the way of initial handling, the method of processing and the method of warehousing must really be considered by fishermen. Mistakes that may be unintentional or unknown can result in huge losses.

“If you carelessly process sea cucumbers, the quality can be damaged, and prices on the market can decrease”. Said Usman, one of the sea cucumber fishermen on the Pulau Seribu.

In general, dried sea cucumbers produced by traditional processing fishermen are still of poor quality, so the collectors or exporters still has to clean it by themself. The quality improvement is usually in the form of cleaning of impurities attached to the sea cucumbers and additional drying, because the sea cucumbers are still not dry enough or become wet again during storage because of their hygroscopic properties.

In catching / harvesting sea cucumbers are usually done by diving and catching it directly by hand. Some fishermen catch using spears or trident, so this method of catching can injure sea cucumbers and cause sea cucumbers to die and decay quickly. In addition, the presence of wounds will make the appearance of the final product unfavorable, which is generally disliked by buyers.

“If I catch sea cucumbers directly dive into the ocean floor, about 3-4 meters deep use breathing apparatus as well,” said Usman.

Sea cucumbers will be cultivated to be maintained in a living condition, if the living conditions of sea cucumbers are difficult to maintain up to the processing unit, for example due to the distance of the location of capture or due to other factors, then it should be immediately removed bowel contents, immediately washed clean and given salt 3 – 10% of sea ​​cucumber weight. To keep the sea cucumbers alive, it can be done by inserting sea cucumbers into a container containing clean sea water.

Discharge of stomach contents can be done on raw sea cucumbers or after boiling. The second method is easier to do, because the texture is more chewy, but it is recommended to do the first method, namely the removal of stomach contents before boiling, although it requires skills so that the cleavage / slices can be neat.

“Removal of the contents of the stomach is done by cleavage through an incision in the abdomen extends to a sufficient length. The knife used must be sharp and thin, “said Usman.

The contents of the stomach are removed and immediately washed clean on the stomach wall until it is free of blood and the rest of the contents of the stomach. The water used can be in the form of fresh water or clean sea water and if possible use running water or use water in a tub that is often replaced.

Some processing fishermen dispose of the contents of the sea cucumbers by punching holes in the end of the sea cucumber with a hole made of bamboo or wood and then the bowels are removed by pressing (squeezing) the body of the sea cucumber. This method is not good, because the contents of the stomach can not be removed completely and the rest of the stomach contents will accelerate the decay process. Besides that due to pressure (extortion) will damage the texture and appearance of the final product.

Because there are still many fishermen who process sea cucumbers with a traditional system will certainly prolong the process and even reduce the quality of sea cucumbers. Ledgernow in helping the welfare of sea cucumber fishermen provides sea cucumber processing experience with a more hygienic and practical modern technology system, which makes it easy for fishermen to sell sea cucumbers with high-quality products. Ledgernow with a blockchain system that makes it easy for sea cucumber exporters to the supplier with a sophisticated system and easy to track the shipping process to maintain the quality of sea cucumbers, using SSC that makes it easy for suppliers and fishermen to experience shipping goods more easily and practically. Click the following link to learn more about

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