Project Details


Seafood has been recognized as a high-quality, healthy and safe food type and is one of the most important food commodities consumed worldwide. However, seafood, like other types of food, can also be a source of harmful environmental contaminants with potential to impact on human health.

The research objectives of ECsafeSEAFOOD have been formulated from the research questions addressed in the specific objectives of the European research programme topic on building a Knowledge-Based Bio-Economy (KBBE.2012.2.4-01: Contaminants in seafood and their impact on public health (The Ocean of Tomorrow)). This topic aims to assess food safety issues related to priority contaminants present in seafood as a result of environmental contamination, including those originating from harmful algal blooms and those associated with marine litter and evaluate their impact on public health. ECsafeSEAFOOD will provide scientific evidence to serve as a basis for further development of common food safety, public health and environmental policies and measures, by seeking to establish a quantitative link between the contamination of the marine environment and that of seafood.

The specific objectives of the ECsafeSEAFOOD project include:
- Monitor the presence of priority environmental contaminants in the environment and seafood and prioritise those that are real hazards for human health.
- Quantify the transfer of relevant priority environmental contaminants between the environment and seafood, taking into account the effect of climate change.
- Study the effect of processing/cooking on the behaviour of priority contaminants in seafood.
- Understand the public health impacts of these chemical hazards, through toxicological characterisation in realistic conditions.
- Perform risk assessment to measure the potential impact of seafood contaminants on public health, using in-depth probabilistic exposure tools.
- Develop mitigation measures for risk managers, such as an online tool for different stakeholders, guidelines, phycoremediation (the use of algae to remove pollutants) and processing.
- Develop, validate and provide new, easy and fast tools to assess the presence of environmental contaminants in seafood.
- Confirm/refine the European Maximum Reference Levels in seafood for contaminants that are real hazards and for which no legislation exists or information is still insufficient.

DTU Aqua participates in the project by performing feeding trials using contaminated feed for Atlantic salmon and seabass respectively. Furthermore, the project also investigates potential effects of microplastic incorporated into feed pellets, on accumulation and elimination of the selected priority contaminants. The feeding trials consist of a 12 week to 15 week accumulation period for seabass and salmon respectively and a 8 week depuration period where all groups are fed control feed. The results obtained from the trail will be the used to develop mathematical models estimating accumulation and elimination of priority contaminants in filet.

DTU Aqua, National Institute of Aquatic Resources
Portuguese Institute of Sea and Atmosphere, Portugal (coordinator)
AZTI, Spain
University of Maribor, Slovenia
Ghent University, Belgium
National Veterinary Institute, Denmark
Catalan Institute for Water Research, Spain
Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research, Belgium
University of Porto, Portugal
Institute of Research and Technology in Food and Agriculture, Spain
Hortimare BV, The Netherlands
Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands
Universidad Rovira i Virgili, Spain
Aeiforia Srl, Italy
AquaTT, Ireland
Agency for Marine Research and Valorisation, France
Polyintell, France
Dan Salmon A/S, Denmark

The project is and funded by EU, Framework Programme 7.

Research area: Aquaculture
Effective start/end date15/02/201315/02/2017

Collaborative partners

  • Technical University of Denmark (lead)
  • Hortimare BV (Project partner)
  • Wageningen University & Research (Project partner)
  • The Portuguese Institute for Sea and Atmosphere (Project partner)
  • University of Maribor (Project partner)
  • Catalan Institute for Water Research (Project partner)
  • Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Project partner)
  • University of Porto (Project partner)
  • Universidad Rovira i Virgili (Project partner)
  • Agency for Marine Research and Valorisation (Project partner)
  • Aeiforia Srl (Project partner)
  • National Veterinary Institute (Project partner)
  • Institute of Research and Technology in Food and Agriculture (Project partner)
  • AquaTT (Project partner)
  • Dan Salmon A/S (Project partner)
  • AZTI (Project partner)
  • Polyintell (Project partner)
  • Ghent University (Project partner)


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