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TraSeafood - Tracing the Geographic Origin of Seafood as a Pathway Towards the Smart Valorization of Endogenous Marine Resources
Coordinator - Ricardo Calado
Programme - Programa Operacional da Competitividade e Internacionalização (02/SAICT/2017)
Execution dates - 2018-06-01 - 2021-05-31 (36 Months)
Funding Entity - FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
Funding for CESAM - 239579 €
Total Funding - 239579 €
Proponent Institution - Universidade de Aveiro

Project TraSeafood aims to determine elemental and/or biochemical fingerprints present in marine endogenous resources captured and/or cultured along the Atlantic western and south-western Iberian coast that can be used to trace their place of origin. The following species will be addressed in this unprecedented effort to develop an integrative framework towards the traceability of geographic origin of seafood: marine macrophytes (the halophyte Salicornia ramosissima (sea asparagus) and the seaweeds Ulva rigida (sea lettuce), Porphyra dioica (black laver), P. umbilicalis (purple laver) and Codium tomentosum (velvet horn)), marine invertebrates (Mytilus galloprovincialis (Mediterranean mussel), Cerastoderma edule (common cockle), Ruditapes decussatus (grooved carpet clam), Crassostrea gigas (Japanese oyster), Octopus vulgaris (common octopus) and Pollicipes pollicipes (goose barnacles)) and marine fish (Sardina pilchardus (sardine), Scomber japonicas (chub mackerel), Trachurus trachurus (Atlantic horse mackerel), Sparus aurata (gilthead seabream) and Dicentrarchus labrax (European seabass)). Species selection was based on market value and potential added-value that can be achieve through the certification of their geographic origin. The selection of species and sampling locations was strictly aligned with the recommendations of the project Stakeholders Steering Committee, which will speed-up knowledge transfer to the market, enhance the socio-economic benefits of the project and ensure its legacy. Elemental fingerprints will be determined through Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS), with laser ablation (LA-ICP_MS) being used whenever necessary, while MS-based lipidomics, namely Hydrophilic Interaction Liquid Chromatography–Electrospray Ionization–Mass Spectrometry (HILIC–ESI–MS), will be used to determine biochemical fingerprints. Elemental and biochemical fingerprints are expected to be species-specific, unique to each sampling location and thus hold the potential to be used for origin certification. Seasonal and interannual shifts in fingerprints will be investigated, as these may impair the discrimination of the place of origin. Potential shifts on these fingerprints along shelf-life will also be analyzed, in order to determine if and during how long post-harvesting geographic traceability can still be reliably determined. The relevance of elemental and biochemical variables within fingerprints will be revealed through multivariate analysis, with the prediction of their place of origin being established through different classification methods. By developing a reliable framework using cost-effective ready-to-use methods to verify geographic origin claims by players along the supply chain it can be possible to differentiate and add value to traded specimens, as well as expose fraudulent practices. Origin certification of seafood is paramount to achieve a smart valorization of endogenous marine resources.

CESAM Funding: