, Volume 42, Issue 6, pp 537-545
Date: 27 Apr 2007

Authenticating Production Origin of Gilthead Sea Bream (Sparus aurata) by Chemical and Isotopic Fingerprinting

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Recent EU legislation (EC/2065/2001) requires that fish products, of wild and farmed origin, must provide consumer information that describes geographical origin and production method. The aim of the present study was to establish methods that could reliably differentiate between wild and farmed European gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata). The methods that were chosen were based on chemical and stable isotopic analysis of the readily accessible lipid fraction. This study examined fatty acid profiles by capillary gas chromatography and the isotopic composition of fish oil (δ13C, δ18O), phospholipid choline nitrogen (δ15N) and compound specific analysis of fatty acids (δ13C) by isotope ratio mass spectroscopy as parameters that could reliably discriminate samples of wild and farmed sea bream. The sample set comprised of 15 farmed and 15 wild gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata), obtained from Greece and Spain, respectively. Discrimination was achieved using fatty acid compositions, with linoleic acid (18:2n-6), arachidonic acid (20:4n-6), stearic acid (18:0), vaccenic acid (18:1n-7) and docosapentaenoic acid (22:5n-3) providing the highest contributions for discrimination. Principle components analysis of the data set highlighted good discrimination between wild and farmed fish. Factor 1 and 2 accounted for >70% of the variation in the data. The variables contributing to this discrimination were: the fatty acids 14:0, 16:0, 18:0, 18:1n-9, 18:1n-7, 22:1n-11, 18:2n-6 and 22:5n-3; δ13C of the fatty acids 16:0, 18:0, 16:1n-7, 18:1n-9, 20:5n-3 and 22:6n-3; Bulk oil fraction δ13C; glycerol/choline fraction bulk δ13C; δ15N; % N; % lipid.