The second phase in a SIRF project led by  Dr. Paul Sarnoski of the University of Florida focuses on developing and optimizing a dye based indictor strip testing method to aid in quality control and regulatory decision making.

Dr. Paul Sarnoski, UF leading SIRF sponsored decomposition research

The first phase of this project examined tuna and mahi-mahi samples in the development of an analytical field tool to rapidly and objectively determine decomposition. His research involved testing for histamine and other biogenic amines which can result in time-temperature abused tuna and mahi-mahi. As histamine producing finfish, these two species were targeted because of the risk they pose for scombroid poisoning. Histamine, as well as other biogenic amine compounds that can act as indicators in scombroid poisoning, were measured through several methods. A major finding in the first phase of the research was that results generally showed an increase in histamine as the quality of both mahi-mahi and tuna decreased.

Dr. Sarnoski’s research seeks a rapid assessment test for spoilage in mahi-mahi and tuna

After the study’s initial phase, Sarnoski proposed to SIRF further research optimizing and validating a dye testing method against official methods of analysis for biogenic amines. The optimized indicator strips will allow industry to perform rapid and inexpensive decomposition testing. 

“Decomposition issues for mahi and tuna remain a bugaboo for importers,” said SIRF Chairman Russ Mentzer. “Dr. Sarnoski’s continued inquiry into these species will provide tools for supply chain protection against the costly effects of spoilage and substandard product.”

The estimated completion time for the project’s second phase is December 2017.

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