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Sounding out worms in fish.

Sounding out worms in fish

Fish fans may find fewer squirmy surprises in their fillets if acoustical diagnosis gains widespread use. In the March/April JOURNAL OF FOOD SCIENCE, a team of scientists from the United States, Britain and Iceland reports that 10-megahertz ultrasound scanning is almost seven times better than the eye at finding worms in fresh fish.

These researchers focused on sealworms (Phocanema decipiens), 0.02-inch-long nematode larvae commonly found in the flesh of cod and other ground-feeding North Atlantic species. Canada and

Iceland together spend an estimated $62 million annually to rid their fish of these worms. But visual inspection -- the normal technique -- can miss larvae embedded more than 0.2 inch deep, so 25 percent of the worms may go undetected. In contrast, the best-performing ultrasound technology detected larvae embedded 1.4 inches deep in fresh fish and 0.8 inch deep in fish that had been frozen and then thawed, says Syed Rizvi, who participated in the investigation at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.
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Title Annotation:Food Science
Publication:Science News
Date:May 13, 1989
Words:170
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