Fish fraud, the practice of misleading consumers about the fish they consume in order to increase profits, has negative impact on marine conservation efforts, consumer trust and human health. Fish fraud is a global issue, roughly 20% of seafood worldwide is mislabelled. Wholesalers, retailers, restaurants, catering businesses and consumers deserve to know the facts about their fish supply chain, including what kind of fish it is, its nutritional profile, and how fresh it is. We all have the right to know if the fish has been grown in a safe environment and if the use of antibiotics is a common practice where they came from.
Fish fraud can negatively impact consumer’s health; this occurs when fish species that are toxic are substituted for non-toxic species. It can also affect the nutritional quality of the fish, as it can happen when species from polluted waters are substituted for marine fish. It damages the integrity of the fish supply chain and consumer trust. Furthermore, fish fraud it can result in severe economic consequences by tarnishing the national reputation of a country in the global food market.
This project, which was has received funding from EIT Food, contributes to a solution of the above mentioned fraudulent practices by offering three new real-time, reliable, portable, affordable and friendly-to-use monitoring devices:
Tool 1, Fish Quality and Fraud mobile app and sensor: a non-destructive, real-time portable NIR spectrometer coupled with a mobile app, to test whether the nutritional value of raw white fish fillet with skin or no skin, and at the same time delivering the shelf life of the fish scanned. This third tool is targeted at both the B2B market as well as the B2C.
Tool 2 Panga Kit: a rapid non-destructive kit, targeted at the B2B market in particular at retailers and the horeca sector to test whether a white fish is of the Pangasius family. An important feature is that it works for raw, processed and cooked fillets, so the kit can identify the fraud even if the fillet is “uncovered” inside a meal.
Tool 3: Antibiotic Kit: a rapid destructive kit to detect antibiotic residues. Antibiotics in aquaculture products are an increasing risk due to the different origin of the feeds and cross contaminations. To control this, a rapid microarray ELISA platform has been developed for the detection of antibiotic residues and is being adapted to be suitable for different fish and certain antibiotics detected on RASFF alerts.