Surprising Finding: Toxic Chemicals Detected in Fish Sticks!

Fish sticks, a beloved food by children for its convenience and delicious flavor, have recently come under scrutiny due to concerns about health and the environment. A study conducted in Germany has shed light on these important issues, revealing hidden aspects that consumers should pay attention to. Let's dive deeper into the findings.

Fish Sticks: Toxic Substances Found in 11 Out of 19 Brands, Says German Test

In an investigation carried out by the magazine Öko-Test, 19 of fish sticks commonly found in the German market were analyzed. The majority of these brands used Alaska Pollock as the main ingredient, but there were also variations that utilized Pollock, Cod, and Pacific Haddock. Most of these products were pre-fried before being sold to consumers.

The fish sticks underwent rigorous laboratory analysis to detect the presence of harmful substances, such as fatty substances, problematic heavy metals, components of mineral oils, and chlorates. Additionally, a test was conducted to detect the presence of perfluoroalkyl compounds, which are known for their poor degradability in the environment and potential accumulation in food. The samples were also examined for bones, nematodes, pathogenic Listeria, and total bacterial count.

To assess the sustainability of the fishing practices used, the suppliers were asked to provide details on the supply chain, including the primary fishing area, secondary fishing area, and fishing methods employed. A team of experts, led by marine biologist Rainer Froese from the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, examined the scientific data and evaluated the health of fish populations in the specified fishing zones and the sustainability of the fishing methods used.

Fish Sticks: Attention to Potentially Carcinogenic Substances

The results of the study revealed that eleven out of the nineteen tested products contained excessive amounts of harmful fatty substances. These substances, specifically 3-MCPD fatty acids and glycidyl esters of fatty acids, have been shown to have potential carcinogenic effects. This finding raises legitimate concerns about food safety, especially for children who are frequent consumers of fish sticks. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has established a maximum daily dose of 3-MCPD, and a 30-kilogram child could consume over half of the permissible dose with just five contaminated fish sticks, according to Öko-Test.

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Aside from the health concerns, the study also shed light on the sustainability issues surrounding the production of fish sticks. All the fishing methods used in the production of these fish sticks were found to be detrimental to the marine ecosystem. Alaska Pollock, the most commonly used fish in fish sticks, is caught using intensive fishing methods with trawl nets, which have a high impact on marine habitats. The lack of transparency in the supply chain and unclear fishing practices make it challenging for consumers to make sustainable choices when purchasing fish sticks.

Fish Sticks: Ranking the Best and Worst Brands

Among the fish sticks that received a “good” rating in the study, brands such as Frosta, Iglo (Findus), and Ocean Sea sold by Lidl stood out. It is uncertain whether these specific brands are also available in the Italian market. Bofrost fish sticks received a “satisfactory” rating, while the other brands tested were more specific to the German market and not of significant interest to the wider audience.

It is essential for consumers to be aware of the potential health risks and environmental impact associated with fish sticks. By making informed choices and supporting brands that prioritize sustainability and food safety, we can contribute to a healthier future for both ourselves and the planet.

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