Paper strips to detect presence of formalin in fish to hit market soon

Paper strips to detect the presence of the deadly chemical formalin in fish will soon be available in the market.

Two scientists of the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology(CIFT) have developed the technique to detect the contamination of fishes.

As part of Operation Sagar Rani, the food and safety department had seized around 22 tonnes of fish contaminated with formalin in Kerala.

500 strips manufactured on an experimental basis were handed over to the food and safety department earlier. As the strips were found to be effective, it was decided to make it available in the market.

Formalin, a chemical used to preserve dead bodies, is carcinogenic. Ammonia is also used to preserve fish.

Two kits will be available to detect the presence of formalin and ammonia in fish. An understanding was reached with a private company to market the kits. The kits will be available in the market soon.

The kit will comprise a paper strip, a solution and a colour chart to compare the change in colour.

After pressing the strip on the fish, a drop of the chemical solution should be poured over it. If the fish is contaminated, the colour of the strip will change.

CIFT scientists SJ Laly and ER Priya developed the strip. The scientists said that one strip will cost maximum one or two rupees only when produced on a commercial basis.

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