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SINTEF Fisheries and
Safe production of farmed Atlantic salmon - Identification of vulnerabilities in
Martinez, I.1; Sandberg, M.1, Westavik, H.1, Garforth, D.2 and Winkel, C.2
1 SINTEF Fisheries and Aquaculture Ltd, 7465-Trondheim, Norway;
2 IFQC SMART Group, Rivercourt Business Centre, Riverlane, Dundalk Co. Louth Ireland.
SigmaChain is an EU-financed STREP project with 1 Brazilian and 10 European participants. The objective of SigmaChain is to develop methodologies tooptimise traceability with respect to chain vulnerability to contamination. The work presented here summarizes one of the first activities of the project: the identification of contaminants and of the vulnerability of chain entry pathways in the production of farmed Atlantic salmon, which is one of the four food chains selected in SigmaChain.
We have collected information about over 80 potential contaminants or
Table 1. Potential contaminants and groups of natural, malicious and emerging contaminants that
groups of natural, malicious and emerging contaminants that might be a
might be a risk in the farmed salmon chain.
risk in the farmed salmon chain (Table 1), including their point of entry to
the chain, spreading, preventive actions and corrective measurements.
oxolinic acid and flumequine, florfenicol,
The most vulnerable links in the chain are the feed (entry of toxic metals
sulfonamides, quinalones, tetracylines, diflubenzorone, cypermethrine,
such as lead, mercury, arsenic or cadmium and their toxic compounds;
phosphorated and halogenated organic compounds, PCBs, dioxins, toxic
ivermectin, delthamethrin, emamectin benzoate, malachite green and leuco-
fillers such as urea or melamine and related contaminants etc.) and
veterinary treatments (entry of antibacterial, antihelminthics and Inorganic chemicals Salts and ionized compounds and toxic
Caustic soda, phosphates, carbonates, and
silicate salts, sodium hypochlorite, arsenic,
antiparasitic drugs) but hazards can also enter the chain from the natural
environment (Listeria spp); from post harvest handling (E. coli
21 Hepatitis A and Norwalk virus, E. coli, L.
, other human pathogens)); wrapping
of the genus Bacillus
(colorants, plastics, metals, etc ) and cleaning process (alcohols, surfactants
Clostridium, Leptospires, Salmonella, Shigella, Staphylococcus, Yersina,
and formaldehyde) during the processing of the fish.
Anisakis simplex, Cryptosporidium parvum
Minimization of drugs in farmed seafood will come from the
implementation of preventive treatment for fish diseases, such as
improvement in vaccination programs and screening and isolation of
(BHT) and butylated hydroxyanisol (BHA),
infected fish. It is more difficult to fight contaminants of malicious origin,
ethoxyquin, mineral oils, nitrosamines, melamine
since different contaminants may be used depending on its purpose:
Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs)-28, 47, 99, 100, 153 and 154
12 Aldrin, camphechlor, chlordane, heptachlor,
(1) if the purpose is to obtain higher profits, it is not usually intended to
cause immediate harm, since then the fraud would be discovered and the
dioxins (PCDD/PCDF) and dioxine-like PCBs), endosulphan, endrin, isothiazalones,
profits would end. In this case, when the presence of the contaminant is
discovered, either the contaminant does not cause direct harm (the direct
(HCH), benzene hexachloride (BHC), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
harm being caused by the lack of the more expensive missing component)
or it may cause harm if consumed for a long time in which case it may
have spread widely and the contaminated products may have been
Quaternary ammonium compounds, other surfactants
consumed for a long time with irreparable damages and even deaths.
(2) if the purpose is to cause widespread harm and panic, unlike above, the
Forbidden processed animal protein (meat-
contaminants may have been selected for their ability to quickly and
seriously harm or kill a large number of people or animals.
Glass, metal pieces, plastics and poly balls
Thus, very different contaminants may be used for malicious purpose, including existing known compounds (either alone or together with their usual contaminants whose effects have not been properly tested, such as
Continued research and development into safe, nutritious and documented
the latest case of melamine and cyanuric acid) or newer designer drugs and
feed materials, together with the implementation of stringent quality and
toxins specifically designed to cause harm (bioterrorism). In either case
safety assurance management systems and appropriate screening and
these are unexpected compounds and therefore their presence may be
sampling protocols throughout the production and distribution chain, will
detected only after a general screening for a wide range of potential
form the tools to ensure the production of high quality European Atlantic
compounds. They would probably go undetected by most routine
Proper analysis of the feed and fish, following the regulations established
The analytical methods necessary to detect many of these contaminants, in
in each country and the European Union will ensure that the levels of
particular toxic elements, and some compounds such as halogenated ones,
undesirable substances are kept under legal limits. Taking up already
require highly skilled and specialist personnel and sophisticated expensive
developed processes to clean oils in the manufacture of oils for fish feeds
equipment. This limits the number of laboratories capable of carrying out
should be recommended to further ensure the high quality and safety of
these analyses resulting in poorer services to the food sector. It is highly
desirable to develop simpler and preferably portable analytical methods for the detection of those compounds, as indeed is already the case for many other contaminants, such as bacteria.
The financial support of the European Community (EU Strep project FP6-FOOD-518451, Area: 5.4.4; Topic: T.184.108.40.206.) and of
the Norwegian Research Council are gratefully acknowledged.
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