Knowledge for Development

A fish test to make food safer


Date: 12/01/2012


Aquaculture is the fastest-developing branch of the global food industry, with annual growth of 9 %. This rapid rise is pushing up demand for fish feed and the supply of fishmeal and fish oil – important ingredients in feed – is dwindling. They are set to be replaced by crops such as soya, maize and rape, but feed pellets made from them might contain pesticides. Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology (IME) in Schmallenberg, Germany have developed a system to test whether chemical substances accumulate in fish that are fed contaminated feed. In autumn 2011, the European Commission will publish new data requirements for fish as part of the approval process for pesticides. These will oblige every producer and importer who intends to bring a new pesticide onto the European market not only to register it but also to provide information proving it cannot accumulate in the edible parts of fish. The fish test developed at the IME will supply the information required. (Fraunhofer Institute, 2/11/2011)

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