Data loading...

New Zealand Considers Ban On Use CO In Tuna New Zealand, January 8, 13

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is calling for submissions on a proposal to clarify the permissions in the Food Standards Code on the use of carbon monoxide (CO) in fish processing.

According to Steve McCutcheon, FSANZ Chief Executive Officer, the proposal seeks to provide clarity on the appropriate use of gases on fish and seeks to prohibit the use of carbon monoxide as a processing aid on fish such as tuna.

“FSANZ is aware of reports of some producers using carbon monoxide to maintain the red colour of the fish, which can hide the age of a fish,” McCutcheon said.

CO reacts with the dark muscle tissue of fish such as tuna to turn the flesh bright cherry red. Treatment with CO prevents oxidation and discolouration, and also preserves the tissue for an extended period of time. This can make the fish look fresher than it actually is.

“The Code currently permits CO as a general-purpose processing aid but processing aids are not supposed to have any ongoing technological function,” McCutcheon said.

“A number of regulators have asked FSANZ to clarify the Code to ensure CO is not used on fish.”