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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: TECHNOLOGIES FOR THE DETECTION OF CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL CONTAMINANTS IN FOODS

Location: Residue Chemistry and Predictive Microbiology

Title: Prevalence of veterinary drug residues and heavy metals in catfish nuggets

Authors
item Ozbay, Gulnihal -
item Babu, Balaji Kubandra -
item Chen, Guoying

Submitted to: Journal of Food Processing and Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 28, 2012
Publication Date: October 7, 2012
Citation: Ozbay, G., Babu, B., Chen, G. 2012. Prevalence of veterinary drug residues and heavy metals in catfish nuggets. Journal of Food Processing and Technology. doi:10.4172/2157-7110.S11-005.

Interpretive Summary: Retail catfish nuggets from domestically raised catfish were collected in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware and tested for chemical contaminants including the heavy metals arsenic, lead, mercury, and cadmium and veterinary drug residues including malachite green, gentian violet, and chloramphenicol. Of the 24 nugget samples tested none tested positive for the presence of arsenic or lead. Cadmium was detected in nine samples but well below the regulatory action level. Mercury was detected in one catfish sample but again well below the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) action limit. One sample tested positive for gentian violet 1.1 ppb; however. Such a low level without concurrence of its metabolite, leucogentian violet, is theorized to originate from post-process contamination. These results will benefit both seafood industry and consumers, and help the regulatory agencies to make informed decision.

Technical Abstract: Seafood, including catfish, can sometimes become contaminated with chemicals and heavy metals at levels which would harm human health. Seafood safety has been increasing concerns to the consumers in the United States and limited availability of domestic fresh products in retail stores have been raising additional concerns. In the 2008 Farm Bill the responsibility for inspection of catfish was transferred from the US Food and Drug Administration to the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS). Because of the transfer of catfish inspection responsibilities from the U. S. Food and Drug Administration to the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service there has been renewed interest in determining the incidence and prevalence of potentially harmful contaminants in catfish products. Many studies of retail catfish have focused on the fillet portion of the fish. Catfish nuggets are the fatty belly flap of the fish which is removed during processing and are sold as a separate product. Retail catfish nuggets from domestically raised catfish were collected in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware and tested for the presence of chemical contaminants including the heavy metals arsenic, lead, mercury, and cadmium and the presence of veterinary drug residues including malachite green, gentian violet, and chloramphenicol. Of the 24 nugget samples tested none tested positive for the presence of arsenic or lead. Cadmium was detected in nine samples, but the levels were well below the regulatory action levels indicated for seafood. Mercury was detected in one catfish sample, but again the concentration was well below the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) action limit for methyl mercury in fish. One sample tested positive for the presence of gentian violet, however, given the low level detected (1.1 ppb) it is theorized to have occurred due to post-process contamination. We believe the research results discussed in this paper will be beneficial for the seafood industry and consumers and will help the regulatory agencies to make informed decision.

Last Modified: 7/30/2014
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