The nutritive benefits of the catfish, Clarias gariepinus (Burchell, 1822), are threatened by its infestation by Dermestes maculatus DeGeer, 1774 during storage. The influence of D. maculatus on stored C. gariepinus was investigated in this study. Fifty smoked C. gariepinus (117.5 ± 0.05 g) were sterilized by oven drying and randomly allotted into 10 boxes. Each box contained five fishes which were infested with larvae of D. maculatus at the beginning of the experiment and were stored for 0 (control), 14, 28, 42, and 56 days. The weight loss and proximate composition (crude fibre, ash, protein, fat, carbohydrate, Na , K , Mg and Fe2 ) of the stored fish samples were analysed at the end of each period. The storage periods represented the treatments. Results revealed that the weight of experimental smoked fishes decreased as the storage duration increased. Similarly, the crude protein, ash and carbohydrate content of C. gariepinus decreased as the days of infestation increased (crude protein varied from 67.00 % at day 0 to 36.84 % at day 56). The mineral composition of the experimental fishes likewise decreased with days of infestation. Regression analysis showed a strong positive relationship between protein ( 0.95), fat ( 0.90), K ( 0.80) content of the fishes and duration of infestation. Thus, the nutritive quality of C. gariepinus is highly reduced by D. maculatus infestation.
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Vol. 22 • No. 1