- AZTI Technology Centre has led the working group that has analysed cases of fish mislabelling at establishments in the HORECA sector, as part of the European FOODINTEGRITY project.
- The largest percentages of incorrect labelling have been detected in grouper, butterfish, dogfish, sole, hake and bluefin tuna.
- The aim of the project is to implement control systems both by the industry and the government in order to protect the sector from these practices and build end consumer trust.
(Derio, 12 February 2018) Half of 204 restaurants surveyed in Spain serve fish that does not match the menu, according to findings in the research led by AZTI, the technology centre specialising in methodologies to ensure the authenticity and origin of raw materials and ingredients. Most of the mislabelling, according to this research which is part of the European FOODINTEGRITY project, has been detected in species such as grouper, butterfish, dogfish, sole, hake and bluefin tuna.
In order to carry out the study, which is the largest of its kind conducted in Spain to date, more than 300 samples were taken from 204 restaurants across the 15 main regional communities in Spain. In the framework of the European research project FOODINTEGRITY, the fish dishes that did not match the menu were assessed and the species that are used most frequently as a replacement were identified. The ultimate aim of the project is to implement control systems both by the sector and the government in order to protect the sector from these practices and build end consumer trust.
In the European Union, the study verified that one out of three restaurants surveyed serves fish that does not match the menu, according to data presented recently at the World Seafood Congress held on 10-13 September in Reykjavik (Iceland).
“The samples were analysed in the lab using a validated DNA methodology, to test whether the fish served at the establishments was actually the fish described on the label,” explained Miguel Ángel Pardo, Chief Researcher at AZTI and expert in food quality, safety and identity.
FOODINTEGRITY responds to the need to ensure integrity in the food chain. 60 partners from 18 European countries and one participant from China and Argentina are taking part in the project. The project is funded by the European Union and the Basque Government.