Fraudulent and economically motivated substitutions in croakers of the Sciaenidae family commercialized in the metropolitan region of Belém, Pará




Molecular authentication; DNA barcoding; Forensic genetics; Processed fish; Mislabeling; Commercial fraud.


In the Northern of Brazil, pescada-branca (Plagioscion squamosissimus) and pescada-gó (Macrodon ancylodon) are commercially important fishes, sold fresh and as frozen fillet or steaks. Fish processing provides practicality, quality and added value although facilitates substitutions due to the removal of diagnostic characters. Thus, this study aims to evaluate the occurrence of substitutions in processed fish labeled as pescada-branca and pescada-gó, marketed in the metropolitan region of Belém and find out if this procedure is economically motivated. A 618 bp cytochrome C oxidase subunit I (COI) sequence was obtained from 108 fillets labelled as pescada-branca and 95 products labelled as pescada-gó. All the samples were identified to the species level through the comparison with sequences from the GenBank and BOLD databases. Only 13.89% of the fillets labelled as pescada-branca belonged to P. squamosissimus, whilst 86.11% were replaced by M. ancylodon (38.89%), Plagioscion auratus (21.30%), Cynoscion virescens (9.26%), Nebris microps (12.04%), Cynoscion acoupa (3.70%) and Cynoscion microlepidotus (0.93%). On the other hand, 94.74% of the products labelled as pescada-gó belonged to M. ancylodon, whilst 5.26% were replaced by C. virescens (2.11%), Cynoscion guatucupa (2.11%) and C. microlepidotus (1.05%). The Chi-squared test (χ2 = 132; Gl = 1; p < 0,01) confirms that the rate of substitution is significantly higher for pescada-branca, the species of greater commercial value. Additionally, the substitutions generally include species of lower commercial value. Therefore, we conclude that the substitutions are economically motivated and characterize commercial fraud, where companies aimed to increase profits to the detriment of the consumer. 


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How to Cite

VALE, B. A. do . .; BARBOSA, A. J.; SAMPAIO, I.; SANTOS, S. Fraudulent and economically motivated substitutions in croakers of the Sciaenidae family commercialized in the metropolitan region of Belém, Pará. Research, Society and Development, [S. l.], v. 11, n. 9, p. e43811931983, 2022. DOI: 10.33448/rsd-v11i9.31983. Disponível em: Acesso em: 13 aug. 2022.



Agrarian and Biological Sciences