Collecting samples of sea bass. (Photo: Apromar)
'Aquaculture fish are free of Anisakis': Apromar
Thursday, February 23, 2012, 23:30 (GMT + 9)
An investigation by the Business Association of Marine Aquaculture Producers (APROMAR) between 2011 and 2012 led to ascertain that the parasite Anisakis is not present in Spanish aquaculture farms of sea bream, sea bass, turbot and meagre.
Humans can become infected with this parasite, a worm, by eating fish either raw or marinated, producing episodes of parasitic infections and food allergies.
This is the reason why Anisakis is considered an emerging problem in public health.
The comprehensive study was conducted by Apromar researchers together with experts from the Institute of Science and Technology of Foods and Nutrition, Centre for Scientific Research (CSIC) and the Health Protection Group on Aquaculture of Valencia (ADS Acuival).
The researchers tested 1,077 fish from 45 farms in Valencia, Murcia, Andalusia, Canary Islands and Galicia.
The study was funded by the General Secretariat of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (MARM).
Through this research, Apromar seeks to show that fish cultivated in controlled conditions through aquaculture techniques can reduce almost to zero the chances of Anisakis infection.
The Association stressed that the fish are bred in captivity throughout their life and are fed with diets that cannot contain the parasite.
"Adding to this, there are health programs implemented in aquaculture farms, which control the quality of the fish throughout its life", said Apromar in a press release.
And added: "The results are in line with what the European Food Safety Authority in 2010 found in the Atlantic salmon aquaculture: fish in which the presence of Anisakis is negligible and the risk of infection in people who consume it is remote."
To prevent Anisakis infection, health authorities of the European Union (EU) recommend subjecting the fish to a temperature equal or less than 20 degrees Celsius in all its points for a minimum of 24 hours.
In Spain, these recommendations are compulsory for those establishments that serve food to final consumers or communities.
The research findings were presented this week at a seminar organized by Apromar at the Aquaculture Technology Centre of Andalusia Foundation, in El Puerto de Santa María (Cadiz).
By Analia Murias