Project TraSeafood aims to determine elemental and/or biochemical fingerprints present in farmed shellfish along the Atlantic western and south-western Iberian coast that can be used to trace their place of origin. The following species are addressed in this unprecedented effort to develop an integrative framework towards the traceability of geographic origin of seafood: Mytilus galloprovincialis (Mediterranean mussel), Cerastoderma edule (common cockle), Ruditapes decussatus (grooved carpet clam) and Crassostrea gigas (Japanese oyster). Species selection was based on market value and potential added-value that can be achieve through the certification of their geographic origin. The selection of species and sampling locations was strictly aligned with the recommendations of the project Stakeholders Steering Committee, which will speed-up knowledge transfer to the market, enhance the socio-economic benefits of the project and ensure its legacy. Elemental fingerprints will be determined through Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS), while MS-based lipidomics, namely Hydrophilic Interaction Liquid Chromatography–Electrospray Ionization–Mass Spectrometry (HILIC–ESI–MS), will be used to determine biochemical fingerprints. Elemental and biochemical fingerprints are expected to be species-specific, unique to each farming location and thus hold the potential to be used for origin certification. Seasonal and interannual shifts in fingerprints will be investigated, as these may impair the discrimination of the place of origin. Potential shifts on these fingerprints along shelf-life will also be studied, in order to determine if and during how long post-harvesting geographic traceability can still be reliably determined.
Project TraSeafood (Tracing the geographic origin of seafood as a pathway towards the smart valorization of endogenous marine resources) (PTDC/BIA-BMA/29491/2017) is supported by FCT/MEC through national funds, and co-funding by FEDER, within the PT2020 Partnership Agreement and Compete 2020.