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Prosjektnummer: 900843
Status: Avsluttet
Startdato: 05.11.2012
Sluttdato: 28.11.2012

Official control of polyphosphate additives and analytical state of the art

Results achieved
Polyphosphates are permitted additives in certain seafood products mainly because on its effect on water retention and reduction of drip loss during thawing. The application of phosphates during salting processes is presently banned by EU legislation, though in practice, salting companies from different countries avoid international prohibition based on the carry-over principle.

Phosphate additives approval in salting processes is now under discussion by the EU authorities, leading to technical and political discussion between representatives of different countries with confronted interests. Late scientific studies have documented new information about key technical points that could be introduced for discussion.

Likewise, there have been detected some problems in the official controls, currently being applied, for the phosphate additives legislation enforcement. Besides, available analytical methodology does not fully suit the legislation requirements yet. This is making that controls are not homogenous across Europe, and the interpretation of the results in several countries is frequently inaccurate.

This project tries to document last data available about the application of phosphates to salted products, the present official control situation in the EU, and an approach to the late analytical advances regarding phosphate additives.
EU has implemented specific legislation for polyphosphates followed up by the introduction of these additives in their food surveillance programs for foodstuff. The application of this control measures relies in the authorities of each member State leading to heterogeneity in the current analytical methods applied as well as the misinterpretation of the analytical results in several cases.

This situation worsens when considering the analytical state of the art in polyphosphates quantification, where the lacks of a common standard method and solutions to some analytical problems have not been accomplished yet. Nevertheless, results from research trials about the application of polyphosphates in salting processes have been recently published, reinforcing knowledge in this topic that could be of great interest for the industry, administration and scientific forum.
The need of international methodology harmonization by means of scientific analytical forums, workshops, staff training, community proficiency testing, and the settlement of accepted community protocols and appropriate techniques is evident and should be implemented as soon as possible. Further on, the setting of a community reference laboratory for food additives should be strongly considered.
Several scientific studies have been published about the use of polyphosphates in salted products, and analytical improvements have taken place in recent years. Information is diverse and widely scattered. Legal background and thesis behind polyphosphates approval for salting procceses  is still controversial.
Therefore, scientific data compilation and technical assesment is needed for the appropiate interpretation of the present international framework. 
To present a compilation, a summary and documentation of information (technical, legal and analytical) about the current state of the application of polyphosphates to salted products and perspectives forward.
Expected project impact
The compilation and summary of the present state of the art of phosphate applications to salted fish, will help the understanding of the present situation and to plan the forthcoming research in this topic. Expected deliverables will be useful as a tool for the dissemination of the present situation throughout the seafood salting sector and competent authorities
Project design and implementation
ANFACO-CECOPESCA technicians will take part of the data compilation, technical analysis and documentation. Several data sources wil be consulted (scientific and technological papers, divulgative articles, official and legal documents, etc).
All the information will be included in a final report:
• Current legal background.
• Summary of scientific studies and results about the application of phosphates in salting processes.
• Major problems in the official control of the polyphosphates additives.
• International analytical state of the art in the detection/quantification of polyphosphates.
• Reference data on phosphates levels during salting.
• Gaps in knowledge and future research topics.
Dissemination of project results
A final report will be published on FHF's website.