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Study Uncovers Quality Problems With Mexican Canned Tuna Mexico, March 7, 12

“Canned tuna is a cheap and nutritious food product and therefore consumers –before purchasing- should verify whether its quality meets the nutritional requirements and data stated on its label” . This has been the motivation for the Federal Consumer Procurement (Profeco), through its National Laboratory for the Protection of the Consumer to assess the quality of 46 brands of canned tuna both from national as well as foreign origin. The test concerned 20 canned tuna in oil, 19 in water and 1 in brine.

The laboratory performed 2853 tests to determine the quality level of the canned tuna and to verify that each can included the mandatory information on the label and complied with the weight declared on the can. The tests were to also make sure that the cans did not include other products than tuna, nor strange odors or signs of decomposition.

The results were made available in the March issue of the Consumer Magazine. As far as the health aspect of the products is concerned, all samples were found to be in proper sanitary conditions. However, not all the canned tuna contain the net weight and drained weight stated on their labels. Some cans of tuna lost up to 7.1 percent of their net weight when draining the liquid content (oil, water or brine).

In addition, the study found that eight of the 46 brands had replaced tuna with a certain amount of soy. Also nine of the canned tuna brand contained guts, scales, skin and bones, among other foreign substances which matter that diminished their quality.

Furthermore, other brands -that were claiming to contain either solid pack, chunks or flakes on their labels- did not meet their description; and others claiming to contain oil or brine contained more water than allowed by standard regulations.

In the study, Profeco recommends consumers to not eat canned goods which show signs packaging deformation, smell, altered color or texture of the fish, as well as to respect the best before dates and handle food hygienically.

Profeco considers this study to be of great importance for the consumer given the results obtained, and therefore recommends the purchase of the March issue of Consumer Magazine, which will lead consumers to make intelligent choices when purchasing canned tuna, a popular product among Mexican families.