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Headlines Published on 08 June 2007

LIFE SCIENCES
Title Europe reels in novel database scheme for identifying fish species

European consumers benefit from a farm to fork approach, where safe, high-quality products move from the source to the shelves and on to the dinner table. They know that correct product labelling is important, as is the accurate identification of species of fish. Over the years, experts have developed various technologies that meet with EU regulations to avoid possible fraud in labelling. Now comes AZTI-Tecnalia, part of the SEAFOODplus Integrated Programme, with a new and free DNA database scheme for validating techniques of identification in species of fish.

Providing Europeans with safe seafood is essential, and SEAFOODplus rises to the challenge. © Matt+
Providing Europeans with safe seafood is essential, and SEAFOODplus rises to the challenge.
The AZTI-Tecnalia database contains more than 700 references for the mitochondrial DNA sequences of Europe's central commercial species, such as the Thunnus genus (e.g. tuna), Gadidae family (e.g. cod) and Merlucciidae family (e.g. hake). The database, a practical tool for validating techniques of identification in species of fish, is based on DNA analysis that effectively facilitates the handling of DNA sequences for establishing similarities and finding polymorphisms, among others.

Each DNA reference sequence is characterised with unique markers at each end, making it easier to be located on the genome. The database can also be used to find information on how to develop new identification techniques. This can help researchers compare the results obtained in laboratories.

With respect to seafood, making it safe for Europeans is essential, and can be determined by four main actions: identify risk factors; avoid risks caused by viral and bacterial contamination; biogenic amines in seafood; and carry out risk-benefit analysis.

For the SEAFOODplus project, improving the well-being of Europeans is key and increasing seafood in the diet to reduce the number of incidents of various diseases like cancer and cardiovascular can be assessed by performing dietary intervention and epidemiological studies. The project is also spotlighting the health of young populations, observing postpartum depression in women giving birth and seeking osteoporosis prevention.

The significance of SEAFOODplus is valued to better understand the causal factors of seafood consumption of consumers and how seafood products are adapted to meet their demands. Experts say that what must be evaluated is how health-related communication strategies affect the decisions made by consumers over the products they buy.

The SEAFOODplus actors have set their sights on developing consumer driven made-to-order, functional seafood products that will bolster health and guarantee quality and safety with the full use of raw materials from traditional sources and aquaculture fisheries.







More information:

  • SEAFOODplus homepage
  • Agrinet Portal on Europa







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