How bad are preservatives in DIY fish food?

Husker

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DIY fish food can be made for a really low cost with a blend of items by using frozen mixed bags of food. I made up about 1/2 gallon of fish food using these blends plus PE mysis, blood worms, and brine shrimp for around $30. However, the frozen mixed bags contain sodium tripolyphosphate as a preservative. Does anyone use homemade fish foods containing this preservative? Is there any scientific evidence that this preservative is harmful?

If not harmful, is there any evidence that there is a higher phosphate level in these food blends than in other blends? If higher phosphate is the only problem, I can up my phosphate export methods and still save money in the long run. Thoughts?
 

mcarroll

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I'm not totally sure I understand the nature of the question, but if I do, it seems logical to make smaller batches, which will be consumed in a shorter period of time, and that don't require anything but freezing as a preservative.
 
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The question is: how bad is the sodium tripolyphosphate preservative that is in frozen seafood? It is a really cheap source of raw seafood for DIY clams, mussels, shrimp, squid, and octopus that I blended with some mysis and brine. Will this add much more phosphates than other frozen foods? Are there other problems associated? I see that many people have used these frozen foods in the past, but it seems like there is a movement away from it without much evidence (unless I am missing it).
 

mcarroll

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Oh, I see!!

I think fresh-frozen food has become more popular which might have supplanted some of the preservative-laden foods at retail.

Are you finding that this is in all the seafood you find for sale, or just the inexpensive stuff?

Generally speaking, and from my understanding, PO4 is considered a nutrient and as such has GRAS status. So I don't know if it ever gets looked at from the angle of "how bad" once it has that status.

From the Federal Code of Regulations (courtesy of Google of course)
§ 182.1810

Since it has GRAS status I think all the research you'll find will be non-controvertial:
https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=sodium+tripolyphosphate+food+additive

I would try to acquire fresh-frozen seafoods that lack this preservative if you can.

However, if your system does not have a phosphate problem, this may not cause any issues.

And rinsing the "suspect" seafood before you process it should help in this case.
 
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Sodium tripolyphosphate is certainly in the frozen foods, but also maybe in some of them that are "fresh" as we are very inland, in Nebraska. There is plenty of research on the molecule itself, but I am more interested in its relevance to reef aquaria.
 
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mcarroll

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It'll be the same research. (I.e. none) ;) Since it's a food additive, nobody is really looking at it.

So if you're interested, you'll have to scour existing research for clues that may be applicable.

Here's one you can try that might have some clues.....full PDF was available.
(Search in http://scholar.google.com for the title.)

MARTIRYAN, AI, and LA NERSESIAN. "SYNTHESIS AND ANALYSIS OF SODIUM TRIPOLYPHOSPHATE PEROXO SOLVATE." Chemistry and Biology 2 (2015): 18-21.
 

mcarroll

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Here's another one:

Caracciolo, Wilson Cabrejos. "Current topics on builders in laundry products." (2016).

(Again, seaerch google scholar for the title.)

I think this is the phosphate they're trying to remove from all the dish- and clothes-washing products. :D :p

(Yes, and a food additive.)

Apparently it's in a class of cleaner-additives called a "builder" and they mention this about it:

Builders have a widespread use in household cleaning products, personal care products, institutional cleaners and industrial cleaning processes, and as water treatment additives in various applications. They are mainly employed to remove metal ions that might impair product’s performance or stability. Other benefits which vary with the chemical character of each molecule are maintenance of alkalinity of the wash solution, entire deposition and soil dispersing properties and corrosion inhibition (Kuo-Yann, 2005). These compounds reduce metal ions availability by forming either soluble or insoluble compounds by sequestration, precipitation or ion exchange. While precipitation often results in the formation of insoluble deposits on clothes and washing machine components, and ion exchange has limited efficacy and needs to be reinforced usually by the use of an anionic polymer (e.g. polycarboxylates), sequestration (or chelation) is the most preferred method due to the formation of soluble complexes and the high binding capacity of chelants. The best known sequestering agent is sodium tripolyphosphate (STPP), although phosphates use has been restricted during recent years for their association with eutrophication phenomena.

Sorry I can't offer anything more direct. Sometimes the quest for info is like this. :)
 

Pola0502ds

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Just an FYI, I literally just spoke with Rod from "Rods Food" yesterday about something similar. I asked how long his food would last if I bought in bulk to save in shipping costs and he said he food would easily last a year if stored in a freezer that does not have auto defrost and by double wrapping his packages. The deal with the freezer is that auto defrost freezers warm up just enough each day to prevent frost from forming which warms up everything else in the freezer. With that being said, I'm at work and cannot check but if anyone has rods food you can check to see if he uses any preservatives. If he doesn't that could be some good insight on how long homemade food can last which can determine your batch size.
 

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