Bureau of Fisheries and Natural Resources, National Fisheries Laboratory Division-Aquatic Toxicology Laboratory
860 Arcadia Bldg, Quezon Avenue, Paligsahan, Quezon City, Philippines, 1103
There are reports of traded Galunggong (Fil.), Decapterus spp., adulterated with formaldehyde (FA) to lengthen shelf life. FA is a noxious substance with negative repercussions to general consumer health. This warrants the determination of a guidance value due to a lack of a local regulatory value specific to Galunggong amidst rising Filipino public concern in the wake of importations complicated by the natural occurrence of FA in the marine fish post-mortem. Comparisons were made on FA levels of fish treated with different conditions exposure and with colorimetric measurements using 405 nm and 412 nm via Nash’s method optimized for a fish matrix with no significant difference in measurement to at most 30 ppm FA in an aqueous matrix. There is also no significant difference in FA content of samples measured immediately from those frozen overnight. Therefore, in line with the regulatory mandates of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) of the Department of Agriculture (Republic of the Philippines), a guidance value of 46.24 μg FA/g of Galunggong or 46.24 ppm is suggested, which is obtained from FA measurements of fish subjected to minimal anthropogenic treatments in different conditions of adulteration. Samples from different Metro Manila wet markets serve as the baseline. The guidance value is suggested to be used as a reference for regulatory purposes and can be improved with a more widespread sampling of fish from landing to selling.