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Food safety assessment of heavy metals in uncommon and abyssal fish and cephalopod from the Tyrrhenian Sea

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The spread of non-native species in the Mediterranean Sea, due to Lessepsian migration and tropicalization, as well as the use of “non-selective” fishing practices, causes frequently the capture of uncommon and abyssal species, that can be sold in seafood market. This could represent a risk for food safety, since some of these species are not listed in the European Union (EU) regulations for human consumption. Heavy metal contamination (lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic) was evaluated, for the first time, in 12 uncommon lessepsian and abyssal finfish and cephalopod species, caught in the Southern Tyrrhenian Sea. Mercury exceeded the maximum limit set by the EU in some species, while lead and cadmium concentrations were compliant. Total inorganic arsenic was detected in all species, in a wide concentration range. Therefore, inclusion in the EU regulations of all these species is suggested to reduce the risk of consumer exposition to heavy metals.

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This work was funded by the Italian Ministry of Health within the research project number IZS ME 03/08 RC.

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Correspondence to Pasquale Gallo.

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Gallo, P., De Carlo, E., Marigliano, L. et al. Food safety assessment of heavy metals in uncommon and abyssal fish and cephalopod from the Tyrrhenian Sea. J Consum Prot Food Saf 13, 399–402 (2018).

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