EP 434 | AIRED 04/22/2019
Uncovering Seafood Fraud
April 22nd, 2019 - One of the most common ways to receive seafood at sharp prices is oversoaking.
One of the most common ways to receive seafood at sharp prices is oversoaking.
While the product might be 100 percent net weight, we have seen pollock fillets for example as high as 93 percent moisture, when the industry standard is 85 to 89 percent moisture.
Chinese seafood processors will quote about 5 to 6 cents savings per pound for every 1 percent moisture increase.
For the unaware seafood buyer this could mean saving 20 to 30 cents on a sharply priced spot buy for product that is heavily oversoaked.
Our recommendation to buyers is to always ask the question "what is the moisture content" and to ask for inspection reports as backup.
Another way seafood fraud impacts the industry is mislabelling. A recent study conducted by students at a University in London Ontario revealed some unsettling instances of seafood fraud.
DNA testing showed several mislabelled fish, purchased from grocery stores across the province.
Dyed Tilapia was being sold as Red Tuna, Rainbow Trout labelled as Atlantic Salmon, and Escolar, which is indigestible, being sold as White Tuna.
Not only are consumers being financially duped, they are also exposing themselves to potential health risks.
Oceana Canada has reported that 44 percent of seafood tested across five cities was mislabelled.
On a positive note, ensuring the seafood you buy comes from sustainable sources almost guarantees you will not be a victim of seafood fruad.
The Marine Stewardship council reported that through DNA barcoding they were able to confirm that less than 1 percent of MSC labelled product was mislabelled, compared to the sector average of 30 percent.
Ocean Wise and Seafood Watch are two other reputable sustainability programs that help buyers ensure what they pay for is what they are get.
Our goal at Tradex is to source 100 percent sustainable seafood products by 2020 - we recommend seafood buyers to do the same.
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