News last update:14 Jan 2016

Feed preservative Formaldehyde found in imported fish

A large number of fish imported from Asia were found to have high levels of Formaldehyde in them according to researchers at a North Carolina chemical engineering firm and North Carolina State University.

One in four imported fish from China and Vietnam sold in the US supermarket contained a high level of Formaldehyde . Formaldehyde is, like many chemicals, versatile. As a naturally occurring product it has its place in our bodies and in the environment and as a synthesised product its uses range from a key component in plastics and urea-based resins to being a vital component in treatments for animal feed to protect against Salmonella, E-coli and other harmful human bacteria and pathogens.

Nearly 25% of all the fish purchased from supermarkets by researchers in the Raleigh, N.C., area were found to contain formaldehyde, a toxic chemical compound commonly used as a medical disinfectant or embalming agent. Formaldehyde is present in some fish at small naturally occurring levels, but the tested fish had a far higher than normal or acceptable levels. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, the US imports approximately 91% of its seafood. China alone accounts for approximately 89% of global aquaculture production.

“The US Food and Drug Administration have amended their regulations to provide for the use of formaldehyde (37% aqueous solution) at the rate of 2.5 kg. per ton of feed as an antimicrobial feed additive for maintaining complete poultry feeds salmonella negative for up to 14 days,”  according to Feedstuffs publication.

Sunita Sahota

Or register to be able to comment.