THERE is little nutritional difference between farmed and wild salmon, Canadian researchers have suggested. A new study published by the Journal of Agriculture and Food Research says that that farmed Atlantic salmon can be just as wholesome and healthy as some species of wild salmon.
Professor Stefanie Colombo, who is the lead researcher in this recent study argued the results strengthened the need for nutritional labelling on fresh seafood in Canada.
Professor Colombo, who is also an assistant professor of aquaculture at Dalhousie University’s Agricultural campus, said: “The research was inspired because a lot of people would tell me that they would only eat wild salmon.” They wouldn’t eat farmed salmon because wild salmon was just better for you and I didn’t understand where they got that idea from.”
She added: “There’s a lot of mixed messaging with regards to farmed salmon and there’s not a lot of data out there to show scientifically the actual difference and if there is one nutritionally, between wild and farmed salmon.”
Funded by the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the researchers looked at the nutritional composition of a number of wild and cultivated salmon types found in the northern hemisphere, including organic varieties. They found any differences were centred around the species, not where they are fished. or farmed.
Professor Colombo maintained said wild sockeye, wild Chinook, farmed organic Atlantic and farmed Atlantic salmon (produced by countries such as Norway and Scotland) were found to be the most nutritious. Wild Pacific salmon was found to be the least nutritious because of its high water density.
She pointed out that nutritional labelling on fresh Canadian seafood was not mandatory which led fellow Dalhouse professor Sylvain Charlebois, to argue: “This doesn’t really empower consumers to make informed choices at retail.” He said there needed to be more transparency in seafood labelling.