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Fishing For An Answer: Wild Or Farmed?

Fishing For An Answer: Wild Or Farmed?

You pass up the farm-raised sea bass in the supermarket fish department, and pay a premium for its wild cousin. Are you getting your money's worth, or was that "wild" fish actually raised on a fish farm and accidentally or intentionally mislabeled" Scientists in the United Kingdom are reporting development of a method to answer that question.

J. Gordon Bell and colleagues point out that European Union legislation requires that retailers and consumers have information on the geographical origin and production method for seafood. "Due to the global nature of production, similar fish products can be sourced from variable points of origin, and this can lead to instances of mislabeling, both intentional and fraudulent," their report states.

It is scheduled for the July 25 issue of ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Other considerations, aside from price, make it important to distinguish between wild and farmed fish, the report notes.

The new test is based on differences in composition of the fatty components found in farmed and wild fish. The differences originate because farmed fish usually get a diet containing lower levels of marine-derived ingredients. With tests done on 10 wild and 10 farmed sea bass, the researchers cite the need to verify the findings on larger samples of different fish.

Article: "Discrimination of Wild and Cultured European Sea Bass (Dicentarchus labrax) Using Chemical and Isotopic Analyses"

American Chemical Society. August 2007.

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