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Ammonia as a preservative for fish?





saratdear
Me and my family eat fish around 3-4 times a week. This is something they picked up from the neighbours, I think. On how they stopped eating fish when they learned about the harmful effects of ammonia being used as a preservative on it. I've searched around, things like 'ammonia in fish', 'ammonia as preservative' and all I've dug up is stuff about cleaning ammonia from aquariums.

What I want to know is, does anyone know of ammonia being used to preserve fish? Maybe they didn't mean ammonia per se, maybe they meant some ammonium salt?
bukaida
I have heard that liquid nitrogens are sometimes used to freeze the fish during export. You can observe even the bloods coming up while chopping them. Didn't heard about ammonia though.I think any kind of preservative, if not properly used , is harmful for health. In kolkata we use to have fresh living fish in the market.So no problem for us.
deanhills
saratdear wrote:
Me and my family eat fish around 3-4 times a week. This is something they picked up from the neighbours, I think. On how they stopped eating fish when they learned about the harmful effects of ammonia being used as a preservative on it. I've searched around, things like 'ammonia in fish', 'ammonia as preservative' and all I've dug up is stuff about cleaning ammonia from aquariums.

What I want to know is, does anyone know of ammonia being used to preserve fish? Maybe they didn't mean ammonia per se, maybe they meant some ammonium salt?
The little bit I know is that some of the fish urinate through their skin, so fish like shark would automatically have a strong smell of ammonia. I haven't heard of fish being preserved with ammonia. I've seen fish being preserved with dry salt or pickled, and fish that is frozen. I'm a bit wary of fish anyway, as it is known to contain mercury, so if one consumes too much fish, this may not be that very healthy.

By the way, I'm curious, what are you eating instead of fish? Smile
saratdear
deanhills wrote:
By the way, I'm curious, what are you eating instead of fish? Smile


Our non vegetarian sources are limited to chicken and fish, mostly. My mom is not too trusty of beef, because one can never be absolutely sure of what they sell as beef. I find chicken to be tastier than beef, anyway.

Or are you asking what I eat as a main dish? Smile

On a side note, why should the fish smell of ammonia if it urinates through its skin?
bukaida
Quote:
Nitrogen gas (N2) at concentrations of 98% or higher is also used effectively to kill insects in grain through hypoxia [9]. However, carbon dioxide has an advantage in this respect as it kills organisms through hypercarbia and depending on concentration hypoxia and, requiring concentrations of above 35% [10], or so. This makes carbon dioxide preferable for fumigation in situations where a hermetic seal cannot be maintained.


Source
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19585263
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modified_atmosphere
driftingfe3s
If you're worried about ammonia, you should avoid beef. A lot of the times it is cleaned with an ammonia rinse to kill bacteria like salmonella and E. coli.
deanhills
saratdear wrote:
Or are you asking what I eat as a main dish? Smile
No, I was just wondering when you mentioned that your parents were no longer buying fish and what they were preparing instead?
saratdear wrote:
On a side note, why should the fish smell of ammonia if it urinates through its skin?
When a shark dies the urea is broken down to ammonia by bacteria because of this, the dead body will gradually start to smell strongly of ammonia. I think this is the case with most fish. The stronger the ammonia, the greater the decomposition?
Source: Wikipedia

Here is a paper on the subject:
Ammonia and urea transporters in gills of fish and aquatic crustaceans

Maybe Ankhanu could do a better job of explaining it, as he is a Biologist. Smile
saratdear
deanhills wrote:
The stronger the ammonia, the greater the decomposition?

I think you mean stronger the urea, stronger the decomposition?

Anyway, thanks for the link. Smile Going through it now..

@driftingfe3s - Like I said, we avoid beef. Thanks for the info. Smile
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