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Information System for Agriculture and Food Research

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Suitability of instrumental analysis for the differentiation of organically and conventionally farmed food fish in several species including processed products


Project code: 2808OE026
Contract period: 01.07.2010 - 31.12.2012
Budget: 101,883 Euro
Purpose of research: Applied research

Aquaculture is of increasing importance for the production of edible fish. In particular organic aquaculture shows considerable growth rates. With respect to consumer protection the potential risk for conventional products being wrongly labelled as organic must be encountered by additional instruments for a complete traceability of edible fish from organic aquaculture. In addition to controls along the process chain these should be applicable on the retail level. Thus, the project is to evaluate the applicability of validated methods of instrumental analytics to the discrimination between organically and conventionally farmed fish of selected species. Exemplarily, brown trout, tilapia, gilthead sea bream and codfish will be examined, which will repeatedly be purchased from several organic and conventional farms within two years. In addition, processed products (smoked, marinated) from Atlantic salmon and brown trout will be analyzed. Moreover, catches originating from free-living stocks of gilthead sea bream and codfish will be included in the discrimination. After species identification the fish will be analyzed for its carotinoid (salmon and trout), fatty acid and carbon as well as nitrogen stable isotope composition. The identification of possibly species specific distinctive features will be accomplished using an artificial neural network. The methods developed in the project will be published in talks and papers to enable food monitoring authorities to examine the reliability in daily practice. In case of positive experience these methods can contribute permanently to the objective of consumer protection and control the compliance of organic fish products with the detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) 834/2007.

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