Facts About Farm Raised Atlantic Salmon
Salmon farming is fairly new and has progressed rapidly over the past 30 years. Atlantic Salmon is farm raised in many different countries. The majority comes from the countries of Chile, Norway, Canada, Scotland, Ireland, and the U.S.(Maine and Washington). In the U.S. any retailer of fresh or frozen seafood must label their product with a country of origin label to determine where the fish was raised. Farmed salmon are fed a processed feed derived from wild fish, including fishmeal, fish oil, byproducts of other fisheries, and soy. Many farmers now are replacing part of the fish oil in their feed with soybean and canola oil which can help reduce the amount of PCB concentration in the fish. Click the link for more info on PCB's.http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard/tsd/pcbs/pubs/about.htm
The color of salmon can vary between farms based on the feed. The reason being that carotenoids are added to the feeds. Carotenoids are part of a salmon's natural diet in the wild and are essential for the overall health of the species. Carotenoids are a naturally occurring biochemical found in many plants and animals that are responsible for the yellow, orange, and red colors. There are two types used in farmed salmon feeds, Astaxanthin and Canthaxanthin, both of which can be found in wild salmon. Astaxanthin occurs naturally but can also be derived synthetically, however their chemical structure is identical. The synthetic version can be derived from a natural source of yeast and microalgae used for farming organic fish and seafood. Farmed salmon that are given these carotenoids in their feed are required by the FDA that they be labeled as a "color added" product. There is no color added directly to the flesh of the fish it is merely a product of the fish's diet.