The Fish Quarantine and Inspection Agency (BKIPM) under the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MoMAF) in collaboration with ARISE+ Indonesia held a three-session webinar on the Determination of Heavy Metals and Histamine Content in Fish Products.  This webinar is part of a continuous programme deployed by MoMAF to improve the quality of fish products for export.

In order to meet food safety requirements of export markets, especially in Europe where export potential is still very high, it is important that  mercury contaminants in tuna and other big fishes such as swordfish and marlin do not exceed the limits on export markets, .

“Our export trend continues to increase, but we still encounter obstacles in ensuring the quality and safety of fishery products. To do this, we need the participation of all stakeholders,”

said Dr. Ir. Rina.M.Si, the Head of BKIPM.

Dr. Rina welcomed the collaboration between BKIPM and ARISE + Indonesia, which she sees as an important opportunity to enhance the ability and competence of quality inspectors and fisheries supervisors.

The first two days the webinar was aimed at analysts at laboratories testing fish while the third day focused on sampling and was aimed at fish control inspectors.  80 representatives from both public and private laboratories participated in the first and second session on February 15 and 16 while 191 inspectors attended the third session on February 17.

The main interest of the participants was to learn whether the test methods used for different types of contaminants comply with EU requirements. For some tests, different instruments and methods can be used but for heavy metals in particular, Benoit Glaud, an International Senior Expert in Laboratories and Food Safety, highly recommends the ICP-MS method. The ICP-MS method is a method in which some of the fish is decomposed in acid in a high-pressure digestion vessel using a microwave heater. The analytical solution is then analysed using an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS) and the concentration is calculated using external calibration and quality control to ensure data quality.

The 3rd session focused on histamine, a contaminant that occurs especially when fish is not stored cold enough for the first time after being caught. International Expert in Fish Safety, Quality and Inspection, Helder Silva, shared his knowledge of how histamine develops and how this may be avoided.

The Q&A session that followed the presentations was very active. In particular, there was great interest in clarifying whether the methods that have been used so far in various laboratories are correct. In addition, participants discussed specific problems in the laboratories.

You may access the webinar presentation materials through this link.

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