Can you eat prawn heads?

Can shrimp heads be sucked or not? It is one of the legends that revolve around this popular fish product on these dates. According to the ‘Food Consumption Report in Spain 2021’ last year they consumed 1.95 kg per person and year on average in shrimp and prawns (at a per capita cost of 22.34 euros per person and year), but it amounts to 6.3 kg per year per person, if we add all the shellfish, molluscs and crustaceans (half a kilo per month). From Pesca España, an organization promoted by several of the most important Spanish producer organizations to promote fish consumption, they talk about “Messages taken out of context about prawn and prawn consumption”. They thought of it this way during a show on Tuesday, introducing their new “Take fish” campaign in which they seek to make the consumer fall in love again. The Professional Association of Dietitians and Dietitians of Madrid (CODINMA) and the General Council of Official Associations of Dietitians and Dietitians oppose it more or less adamantly.

Specifically, this controversy surrounding shrimp, from the fishing sector they associate with a Recommendation from the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition (Aesan) 2011 in which he advised reducing consumption of dark meat from crustaceans in the head to reduce exposure to cadmium. It is a substance, shown from the sector, that can be found in the environment naturally associated with other metals such as zinc, copper or lead and whose presence is augmented by its industrial applications. From there it goes into some foods.

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Also speaking at the Pesca España event, Dietician and Nutritionist Marilyn Valero (La Paz University Hospital) drew attention to the quantities consumed throughout the year and indicated thatand “To reach levels of toxicity, it would be necessary to take such a quantity, that in excess it would result in…”.

about cadmium

From the Professional College of Dietitians and Dietitians of Madrid (CODINMA), Vice Dean and Professor at the Universidad Francisco de Vitoria Damaso Rodríguez recommends: “When cooking/eating you have to try to avoid the heads due to its high cadmium content. This is because the liver is present in them, and it is the organ in which this mineral is concentrated. In this sense, he noted, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) sets the maximum consumption of cumin at 2.5 micrograms per kilogram of weight per week.. A kilogram of shrimp contains 0.5 micrograms of this element.select Rodriguez who referred to it In a kilo of run heads there will be 2.5 micrograms. “We see how the concentration multiplies by four,” said this expert, who believes that cadmium is harmful if it accumulates in the liver and kidneys.

Almudena Sejedo and Rita Alig, members of the General Council of Official Faculties of Dietitians and Nutritionists, also mention the AESAN warning about this product and state that “cadmium A metal that is toxic to the kidneys and that if it is stored in the body, it takes between 10 and 30 years to get rid of it ». However, nutritionists agree that “if heads of varieties are eaten once a year, nothing will happen; if we usually eat them with some frequency or prepare a smokehouse with them, we have to be careful.” In this sense, they insisted, the products should be in a good state of preservation and adequately frozen, “but this will not interfere with the cadmium they offer and we must not suck the heads off.”

Both experts We recommend a serving to be around 150 grams, As another alternative “within the recommendations for eating fish and shellfish 3 or 4 times a week. In this sense, they also ask to “limit its consumption in people with high uric acid or cholesterol, and eating it for a long time can have effects on increasing the risk of developing cardiovascular disorders blood and heart disease”.

Fishmongers: “Reasonable consumption” and controls

In the National Federation of Provincial Associations of Retail Business Owners of Fish and Frozen Products (Fedepesca), its general director, María Luis Alvarez, points to a similar trend. Alvarez believes there is no problem “always with reasonable consumption” because there is a regulation on maximum permitted contents and formal controls at any point in the series.

The representative of the organization that brings together fishmongers and fish retailers attributed the entire discussion to two elements: sulfate, found in other foods such as wine, “which is used so that the product does not turn black so quickly” and cadmium It is also found in grains, nuts or oilseeds. The representative of Fedepesca pointed out that cadmium is a substance found in the environment “although there are industrial applications and the product of fishing ends up being blamed on human activity”.

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