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A friend of mine buys groceries at this place called restaurant depot which sells food wholesale to restraurant and business, he got me some tilapia and salmon, but when I got the box it said " imported from china, farm raised" and on the back in the ingridients: tilapia, carbon monoxide.
So I went online to do some reading and heres what wikepidia states:

Meat coloring
Carbon monoxide is used in modified atmosphere packaging systems in the US, mainly with fresh meat products such as beef, pork, and fish to keep them looking fresh. The carbon monoxide combines with myoglobin to form carboxymyoglobin, a bright cherry red pigment. Carboxymyoglobin is more stable than the oxygenated form of myoglobin, oxymyoglobin, which can become oxidized to the brown pigment, metmyoglobin. This stable red color can persist much longer than in normally packaged meat.[29] Typical levels of carbon monoxide used in the facilities that use this process are between 0.4% to 0.5%.

The technology was first given "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) status by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002 for use as a secondary packaging system, and does not require labeling. In 2004 the FDA approved CO as primary packaging method, declaring that CO does not mask spoilage odor.[30] Despite this ruling, the process remains controversial for fears that it masks spoilage.[31] In 2007 a bill[32] was introduced to the United States House of Representatives to label modified atmosphere carbon monoxide packaging as a color additive, but the bill died in subcommittee. The process is banned in many other countries, including Canada, Japan, Singapore and the European Union.[33][34][35

The fish is vaccum sealed in individual packets and appears to be fresh, but I'm little freaked out about eating it or giving it raw to my dog.

Any ideas?
 

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I'm not an expert and haven't done a whole lot of research on this but in my mind, its a good thing, not bad. I THINK what happens is that bacteria needs oxygen to grow. With the package filled with CO, it greatly retards the growth of bacteria and retards spoilage. I think meat lasts a lot longer in these packages.

For example, I shop at Publix now and when I buy hamburger meat on Friday, it is degraded by Monday when I cook it. I have to freeze it to be able to use it on Monday. When I shopped at Walmart which uses CO packaging, I could buy hamburger meat on Friday and keep it in the fridge and it still appeared and tasted fresh on Monday.

Anyway, that is my only experience with that type of packaging and I thought the CO stuff was superior. Publix won't use it so I have to freeze the hamburger meat.
 

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thanks, I'll give it a try, from what I've read its commonly used in sushi places for the fish to retain that distinct white/pink shade, since it turns brown in couple days with slight temp. flactuation.
 

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I just read in one of my magazines that Tilapia has high levels of omega-6 fatty acids, and low levels of omega-3's, don't know if it makes a difference or not.
 

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Carbon monoxide is an old, old trick used to make meat "pretty." "Pretty" cherry red beef steaks sell so much better than brown meat. Brown meat is just as safe as cherry red meat despite the color change which does not come from bacteria, but from air exposure.

I guarantee that ALL of the meat one sees at Albertson's or Vons is treated with CO. Nothing wrong with it whatsoever.

Does it prevent spoilage? Not noticeably. Many of the bacteria that like meat are anaerobic, meaning they don't need air. But, the nice thing is that it does not mask spoilage either. One can tell if the meat is spoiled or not regardless of treatment with CO.

CO is a normal part of meat packaging, just don't intentionally try to breathe out the CO from the package and you'll be good. :smile:
 
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