There are several traditional fermented fish products in Northeast India and shidal is one of them. It is made from small carps (Puntius spp.) with a maturation period of 4 to 6 months. The traditional method of shidal preparation varies from place to place. In this study traditional methods of Assam and Tripura were studied and standardized. The traditional shidal was collected in monthly intervals from the production centers and microbiological study was done. Two predominant bacteria from fresh traditional shidalwere isolated and identified as coagulase negative Staphylococcus aureus andMicrococcus sp. A mixed starter culture of these two organisms was incorporated to the raw material during processing along with salt and sugar in different concentrations in order to hasten the fermentation process. In-process study was conducted with fortnightly sampling and shidal produced was evaluated by 10 judges in comparison to the best quality traditional shidal. The method could be shortened to 2 months with no significant differences (p<0.05) between the products. This modified method of shidal preparation can be used by the shidal producers to increase the production by two folds per year.
Key words: Shidal, fermented fish, starter culture, salt, sugar, traditional product.
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