Occurrence of mislabelling in prepared fishery products in Southern Italy

  • Giuseppina Tantillo | giuseppina.tantillo@uniba.it Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari, Italy.
  • Patrizia Marchetti Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari, Italy.
  • Anna Mottola Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari, Italy.
  • Valentina Terio Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari, Italy.
  • Marilisa Bottaro Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari, Italy.
  • Elisabetta Bonerba Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari, Italy.
  • Giancarlo Bozzo Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari, Italy.
  • Angela Di Pinto Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari, Italy.

Abstract

Fish authentication is a major concern not only for the prevention of commercial fraud, but also for the assessment of safety risks deriving from the undeclared introduction of potentially dangerous toxic or allergenic substances or environmentally damaging fish where endangered species are involved. Moreover, food authentication might affect the diet of certain groups of consumers, such as followers of religious practices. Considering the authentication of fish products is one of the key issues in food safety, quality and sustainability, the aim of this work was to investigate the prevalence of mislabelling in sole (Solea solea), plaice (Pleuronectes platessa), Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), and hake (Merluccius merluccius) fillets from markets and supermarkets located in Apulia (Southern Italy) using DNA barcoding. The results of the molecular investigations reveal that 42/98 (42.8%) fillet samples were not correctly labelled. In particular, 12/27 (44.4%) fillets of sole (Solea solea) were identified as belonging to Solea senegalensis. In addition, 13/28 (46.4%) plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) samples were identified as Pangasius hypophtalmus. All Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) samples were correctly labelled. Post-sequencing data analysis revealed that 17/30 (56.6%) hake fillets (Merluccius merluccius) were not correctly labelled, of which 8/30 samples identified as Merluccius hubbsi, 5/30 samples as Merluccius products and 4/30 as Merluccius capensis. The study reveals a high occurrence of species mislabelling in the prepared fish fillet products, further evidence of the need for increased traceability and assessment of the authenticity of food products.

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Author Biography

Giuseppina Tantillo, Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari
Department of  Veterinary Medicine
Published
2015-09-30
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Original Articles
Keywords:
Mislabelling, Prepared fish products, DNA barcoding, Southern Italy
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How to Cite
Tantillo, G., Marchetti, P., Mottola, A., Terio, V., Bottaro, M., Bonerba, E., Bozzo, G., & Di Pinto, A. (2015). Occurrence of mislabelling in prepared fishery products in Southern Italy. Italian Journal of Food Safety, 4(3). https://doi.org/10.4081/ijfs.2015.5358