It’s probably the last thing you expect to find in fish, especially the ones you buy at the local supermarket.
But a team of scientists has found unacceptable levels of formaldehyde in some fish purchased at grocers in the state. The team said that about a quarter of the fish were found to contain the chemical, the Charlotte Observer noted.
To assess formaldehyde levels in the fish, the researchers — who have their own company called Appealing Products — created an inexpensive test that can detect the presence of formaldehyde in food. The company has also devised tests to identify traces of explosives, gunshot residue, toxic gases and other hazardous substances.
High levels of formaldehyde were identified in some fish imported from South Vietnam and China. Fish from domestic producers and fish imported from Indian and South American sources was not found to contain formaldehyde. The government estimates that about 15% of the fish consumer by Americans is imported from overseas sources.
The researchers said the results suggested that the U.S. requires enhanced food inspection procedures when it comes to fish.
Formaldehyde is added to fish in some parts of the world to deter harmful bacteria.