The “Protein” Called Fish: Friend or Foe?

Oct 5, 2023 | Food Matters | 1 comment

Threats, Benefits, and Quality Checks of Fishes in Nigeria Market

This week’s discussions on food matters revolved around the importance of fish and seafood in our diet. It was highlighted that fish, especially fatty varieties like salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines, are rich sources of healthful long-chain omega-3 fats, vitamin D, selenium, protein, and low in saturated fats. The concern raised was that not all fish are equal in terms of their omega-3 content, with scaly fish generally having lower fat content compared to nonscaly ones. However, the protective benefits of fish scales and slime were emphasized, as they guard against pathogens like bacteria and viruses.

The suggestion on healthier fish options was to focus on consuming fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel for their high omega-3 content. Additionally, the discussion delved into the safety of smoked fish, with a warning about the health hazards associated with open-flame grilling due to the accumulation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Dr. Nurah Oseni recommended indirect roasting methods, such as covering with aluminum foil or using a conventional air oven, to minimize PAH exposure during smoking processes.

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    With respect to smoked fish, the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology ( NIFST) through her Consult/ Training Arm would look into training of vendors in fish processing on safer fish processing procedures to minimize the associated food safety risks.


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