Farmed Salmon Are Fed Chemical To Turn Flesh Pink

As we all know, one of the particular characteristics of salmon is its salmon-hued meat. Yet, you may not realize how your salmon got that tone.

Essentially, it’s all gratitude to a chemical that is fed to them.

Obviously, your health will depend on the type of food you eat, and wild salmon eat shrimp and krill, which contain substance called carotenoids.

One of the chemicals in this compound is astaxanthin, which gives salmon that particular rosy pink tone.

Lovely salmon colour that, eh? Credit: PA

But, without any semblance of shrimp and krill in their food, farmed salmon would really have white meat. To prevent this, farmers add carotenoids to their food.

You may ask why, given that we eat white fish constantly.

Don Read – who runs West Creek Aquaculture fish farm in British Columbia, Canada – told TIME in 2017: “If we didn’t do it, customers wouldn’t buy it”

“Consumers purchase what they’re acquainted with. Customers purchase what they are comfortable with. They will not go into the store to purchase white salmon.”

Paul Greenberg, creator of Four Fish and American Catch, said pink salmon sells better on the grounds that it beholds back to the pre-mass farming period, when salmon used to be known as the ‘fish of the rich’.

He told TIME: “Salmon is the most popular fish in America in part because of the colour”

“It’s exotic, it stands out. When you think about it, most fish you see in the market are going to have some variant on white, grey or beige. The red of salmon just pops.”

Yet, just as adding shading, astaxanthin is fundamental in keeping cultivated salmon sound, as per Mike Mitchell of fish farming company Clean Fish.

He told FishFarmingExpert: “In addition to the red-orange pigmentation, astaxanthin provides vital health benefits to salmon.”

“Astaxanthin has 100-500 times the anti-oxidant capacity of vitamin E and prevents peroxidation or degradation of fat cells, which is crucial in protecting cold-water species like salmon.

“Astaxanthin also helps with fertilisation, cellular respiration and immune system functions. Because of its strong antioxidant properties, astaxanthin is commonly used as a nutritional supplement for humans.”

He also added: “So next time you hear someone disparaging farmed salmon as dyed, remember that colour-added should really be ‘health-supplement added’.”

“Astaxanthin is added to salmon feed to replicate the krill that wild salmon eat, not specifically to add colour to the fish. Salmon need astaxanthin to be healthy, and so do you.”

“So next time you hear someone disparaging farmed salmon as dyed, remember that colour-added should really be ‘health-supplement added’.

“Astaxanthin is added to salmon feed to replicate the krill that wild salmon eat, not specifically to add colour to the fish. Salmon need astaxanthin to be healthy, and so do you.”

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