The Caribbean Red Snapper (Pargo) Lutjanus purpureus is the most economically important snapper in Brazil, which is sold, among other forms, as frozen fillets. During the process of transformation into fillets there is the removal of the distinctive morphological traits, being able to favor the substitution by less valued species. In addition, there is no national legislation requiring the insertion of the specific name on the product label. However, according to a Normative Instruction (IN N ° 29/2015 MAPA) that correlates the common and specific names of the products destined to the national trade, in Brazil only L. purpureus and L. campechanus can be denominated “Pargo”. Thus, the DNA barcode tool was used to identify the fillets sold in north of Brazil, labeled “Pargo”, with the aid of sequences from the public and control databases. The results showed that among 142 fillets examined, 78% was identified as L. purpureus and 22% as Rhomboplites aurorubens, a snapper with low commercial value in the country, revealing commercial fraud. The molecular identification method successfully used in this study to authenticate fillets snappers may also be used by surveillance authorities in the quality control of processed fish products, towards ensuring consumer rights.
Commercial fraud; DNA barcode; Fillets; Processed fish; Snapper