Provenance of fish
Under the motto "Alpenlachs® -origin is provable - new scientific methods secure local origin" results of a pilot study to determine the origin of arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus lepeschini) from Austrian aquaculture was presented by DI Dr. Andreas Zitek MSc, during an official press conference on 04/13/2012. Fertilized eggs of arctic charr are imported from Iceland, and then reared in Austrian farms and sold for consumption as “Alpenlachs®”. The analytical method applied is based on time-resolved analysis of elemental and isotopic ratios in a fish by laser ablation inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS). Fish permanently absorb chemical information of the surrounding water. This chemical information is then chronologically deposited in concentrically growing hard parts like the otolith (ear stone) of the fish. By LA-ICPMS this information can be derived and interpreted in terms of the life history of a fish, and hence the origin of the fish can be reconstructed (Picture 1). The project combines fish ecological expertise with analytical chemistry in a unique way to establish certainty with regard to the origin of fish from Austrian aquaculture.
DI Dr. Andreas Zitek, MSc (andreas.zitek(at)boku.ac.at)
DI Johanna Irrgeher (johanna.irrgeher(at)boku.ac.at)
Ao. Univ. Prof. DI Dr. Thomas Prohaska (thomas.prohaska(at)boku.ac.at)
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Department of Chemistry, Division of Analytical Chemistry, VIRIS Laboratory – Analytical Ecogeochemistry, UFT
3430 Tulln an der Donau
Picture 1: Microchemical life history of one selected fish
(Credit: VIRIS Labor).
Small Picture on top: DI Dr. Andreas Zitek
(Credit: Alpenlachs Soravia GmbH/APA-Fotoservice/Preiss).