What you should know about Tuna
Is Fresh Tuna really Fresh? • Tuna feed by the continental shelves over 1,100 miles from shore. • The boat travel time is a minimum of 5-7 days. • Tuna caught are held in holding tanks on the boats for a min. of 7 days. • Prepared for Travel Worldwide: Packing/Airline/Documents/Customs • Tuna Arrives at Distributors
2-3 Weeks to Distributor + Plus time to get to the Kitchen.
The Truth about CO Tuna
Is Your Tuna 100% Natural?
“Why does Conventionally Frozen Tuna often appear so bright red in color?”
Freezing tuna in the conventional manner is NOT COLD ENOUGH to halt microbiological activity. In fact, tuna will continue to turn brown during the conventional freezing process, and the rate at which it turns brown will rapidly increase upon defrosting.
To counter this, many tuna and beef suppliers use a smoke treatment process that prevents oxidation and brightens the color of the meat. Smoke treatment, which is also called tasteless smoke, carbon monoxide(CO) treatment or gas treatment, causes the tuna – or any red meat – to take and retain a bright watermelon red color, even long past when the product is edible. For consumer protection, Canada, the countries of Europe, Japan, and China have banned this process outright. It is still legal in the US.
“The dangers of CO’s use do not stem from its direct effects on meat or even consumers …Eating spoiled meat that looks, fresh, however will.” – Food & Water Watch ( Read the Full Article )
How Tuna Loses it Color
Tuna flesh, like the flesh of many land animals, contains myoglobin, a pigmented protein that stores oxygen in the muscle tissue. The amount of myoglobin in a tuna’s muscle determines its color. The more myoglobin, the redder the flesh. The amount of myoglobin is a function of a tuna’s age, physical activity and species. When the flesh of tuna is exposed to air (particularly when it is cut into pieces), an iron ion in the myoglobin molecule will start to oxidize. The dark, purplish red color of freshly cut tuna is due to deoxymyoglobin, which in air changes first to bright red oxymyoglobin and then to brown metmyoglobin. Tuna purveyors therefore must hustle to rush their tuna from the boat to the chef after it is cut up. It is a very short 3 to 5 days after it is cut up that it will remain in the red oxymyoglobin stage. The brown color is not an indicator of its wholesomeness. Myoglobin’s color changes take place long before the fish has begun to deteriorate.
Carbon monoxide thwarts the natural color change by replacing the oxygen in the oxymyoglobin molecules (as it does in our blood’s oxyhemoglobin molecules), converting them into a very stable complex: the watermelon-red carboxymyoglobin. The oxymyoglobin is thus derailed from being oxidized to brown metmyoglobin. And so tuna processors began to smoke tuna prior to freezing.
Smoking tuna is the predominant way to infuse it with carbon monoxide as wood smoke contains carbon monoxide. The tiny particles that make smoke smoky are filtered out along with the chemicals that give smoke its flavor, leaving a mixture of gases — carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen, oxygen, and methane. This is called filtered smoke or tasteless smoke.
Is this Legal?
It is permitted only with Labeling to Disclose Preservative Use. The FDA states that the use of tasteless smoke constitutes use as a preservative and thus needs to be labelled according to 403(k) and 403(i)(2) of the FFD&C Act. Label examples: Tuna, Tasteless Smoke (a color preservative) OR Tuna, Carbon Monoxide (a color preservative). GRAS No. 000015
Many Countries Ban Smoke Treatment of Tuna
For consumer protection, Canada, the countries of Europe, Japan, and last year, China banned it outright. Source of further information www.co-meat.com/index.html. The FDA has given it a GRAS “Generally Regarded As Safe” rating. Any risk lies with the potential that unscrupulous dealers might present and sell product that has passed its prime. Research by the Food Science & Human Nutrition Department of the University of Florida has found that dangerous, time-induced spoilage can continue in carbonmonoxide-treated fish even though the color is still bright. Reputable distributors always keep their customers informed as to the appropriate labeling on all products. ( Read the Article )