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New online tool allows consumers to assess the health benefits and risks of seafood

Contributed by: AquaTT

FishChoice, a new online tool to help consumers and professionals efficiently and effectively balance the benefits and risks of eating seafood, has been launched by the EU-funded ECsafeSEAFOOD project at www.fishchoice.eu.

Seafood plays an important role in a balanced diet. It is a nutrient-rich food that is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals and contains a unique type of fat – namely omega-3 fatty acids, which have considerable health benefits. Like any other food type, seafood can also be a source of harmful contaminants with the potential to impact human health negatively.

The ECsafeSEAFOOD project ran from February 2013 until January 2017 and assessed food safety issues related to priority contaminants present in seafood as a result of environmental contamination. One of the most important objectives of the project was to assess the health risks associated with the intake of chemical contaminants, such as inorganic arsenic and methylmercury, through the consumption of seafood. In this framework, a new interactive tool called FishChoice was designed, developed and validated. FishChoice provides users with the means to minimise their exposure to chemical pollutants from eating seafood, whilst helping them ensure important nutrients, such as fatty acids, are still consumed.

FishChoice is a digital tool which assists users by taking both the benefits and risks into consideration when choosing seafood. Two versions of the tool have been designed, one for everyday users and one for professionals working in the field of nutrition and health. Both versions are freely available at the website www.fishchoice.eu. The tool allows the user to create a weekly menu by selecting among 24 of the most consumed seafood species in Europe. The benefits and risks for each choice are then calculated by comparison with threshold values. What makes this program particularly unique is the inclusion of specific information for pregnant women and nursing mothers, whose increased health risk from consuming certain species such as tuna, was incorporated into the system. FishChoice is currently available in five languages (English, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese and Spanish), and others will be added shortly.

FishChoice has been designed and developed by researchers of Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV, Spain) and Ghent University (Belgium), under the coordination of the Portuguese Institute of Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA, Portugal).

Links: FishChoice: www.fishchoice.eu
ECsafeSEAFOOD FP7 project: www.ecsafeseafood.eu
Scientific publication: www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691517300509


Notes for Editors
The ECsafeSEAFOOD project was launched in February 2013 and was funded by the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological development (FP7/2007-2013) under Grant Agreement n°311820. The Portuguese Institute for the Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA, I.P.) coordinated the project.

The ECsafeSEAFOOD consortium comprises 17 partner organisations from 10 countries. The partnership includes SMEs in order to facilitate the transfer and uptake of research by interested parties. The project was divided into six scientific work packages to address the project’s objectives with additional work packages for project coordination and project dissemination.

AquaTT is the project dissemination and communication partner.

For press queries, please contact the project communications officer:
Tanja Calis, AquaTT (email: tanja@aquatt.ie; Tel: +353 1 644 9008)

Contributor

Organisation

    AquaTT
    Ireland

Related information

Countries (28)

  • Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, United Kingdom

Keywords

sustainable fisheries, human health, seafood, healthy diet, environmental contamination
Record Number: 138995 / Last updated on: 2017-03-03
Category: Scientific advances
Provider: WIRE
Revision: 0
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