Miguel Ángel Pardo & Elisa Jiménez
Abstract: Commercialization of seafood is one of the most complex food chains at international level and it is therefore one of the food commodities most likely to face challenges related to fraud and authenticity. In this sense, several studies have revealed a high percentage of fraud for species substitution both at retail and food service level worldwide including European Union. Spain is one of the European countries with the highest consumption of fisheries and aquaculture products and it is therefore a very interesting region to evaluate the impact of seafood fraud in food services. The study presented in this paper is the first large-scale attempt to study the rate of seafood fraud in food services across Spain. A total of 313 samples were collected in 204 mass caterer outlets from 15 Spanish Autonomous Communities and successfully sequenced. DNA barcoding revealed that 50% of the food services establishments sold mislabeled seafood. Dusky grouper and tope shark showed the highest mislabelling percentages ranging from 86 to 100%. Overall results evidence the complexity of international seafood supply chains supported by the fact that many of the species reported substituting local species, are coming from Asian, South American and South African regions.
Journal: Journal of Food Composition and Analysis