Semi-dried codfish for sale in a supermarket. (Photo: Terje Engoe)
Warnings about 'non-essential' use of phosphates in cod
Thursday, September 27, 2012, 01:50 (GMT + 9)
DECO consumers’ association argued against the addition of phosphates to cod. They claim that this additive "is non-essential" and that it can affect the taste, appearance and texture of the product.
For the organization, it is an unjustified measure, which opposes the additive use principles under EU rules.
The decision of the European Union (EU) to authorize the use of phosphates (food additives) in wet salted cod was postponed for the next few months.
DECO believes it is necessary to review the initiative and considers it is unacceptable to cast a favourable vote for adding phosphates to cod.
Phosphates are used to whiten fish flesh, but the consumers’ association emphasizes that this is not justified in Portugal, since people know cod very well and have no problems accepting it.
Consumers do not seek "a paler colour," the NGO points out.
It also stresses that in some cases the use of phosphates can be misleading, because it allows the fish to retain water artificially.
The Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC) repeatedly denied that the proposed introduction of phosphates affect the Portuguese cod. In this sense, the entity insists that this preservative is applied only to products destined to other markets, such as Greece and Spain, the agency Lusa reported.
"The use of phosphates in the production of wet salted fish is prohibited in the products produced and marketed within its territory," the Council added, while denying that this additive increases water retention in fish.
On the other hand, it was confirmed that the use of phosphates can remove the yellow shade from cod, which is "one of the most common features in the domestic market."
By Analia Murias