Finnian O’Luasa, Bord Bia Paris
Salmon is a versatile and much appreciated species by the European consumer. World production has risen to 1.4 million tonnes and Europe imports over 700 000 tonnes with France alone importing 90 000 tonnes annually. In recent years Pangasius, which is also versatile and affordable has come on the market. World supply of Pangasius is even greater than salmon at around 1.5 million tonnes. Europe imported 210 000 of frozen pangasius fillets in 2008. From a price point of view Pangasius has a definite attraction with the average import price in France being less than €2.50/kg for frozen Pangasius fillets in 2008 compared to an average import price of whole fresh salmon of €3.70/kg. When yield is taken into consideration for transforming whole salmon into fillets, then salmon is over twice the price of a kilo of pangasius.
The essential question when comparing between species however is the nutritional value. Comparisons of the nutritional value of different species has been carried out by the Seafood cluster of Boulogne sur Mer in France through their organisaton Aquimer. Their comparative nutritional value website http://www.nutraqua.com/ gives interests results for comparative values between Salmon and Pangasius as seen in the table below:
The most striking contrast is obviously the difference in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). Salmon contains over 20 times more of these fatty acids than Pangasius. Of these the ratio of the renowned omega 3 fatty acid found in salmon compared to Pangasius is over 75 to 1.
Considering the importance of “life style” related illness in today’s society the nutritional value of food is becoming a major issue. France launched a nutritional program for public health under the title of PNNS (Programme National Nutrition Santé) which gives a detailed outline of nutritional objectives to increase public health levels. As in any healthy diet it is advised to eat seafood at least 2 times per week. The most important nutritional feature of fish is it’s high level of long chain polyunsaturated fats (PUFA).
Nutritional value measures the real value for money when purchasing food. High value nutritious food gives real value for money and peace of mind.