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I currently have an inquiry going with a canned fish producer about the difficulty of determining based on the nutritional fact list how fatty (and thus valuable for a healthy diet) the included fish actually is. Some are dry fish weight, others don't specify. Some are in vegetable oil, yet don't mention content without that oil. And those that do are still with the soaked-in vegetable oil after dripping off the excess.

One suspicion I have is that fatty fish is commonly considered too valuable to put in cans and thus they use the cheap stuff for that.

Another suspicion is that high fat fish doesn't vibe well with canning which is designed to last for years, so it might be that only smoked fish works in that way. Because the only two examples I found where the fish included might be on the fattier side are both smoked.


I also checked whole fish from the cooling shelf and there the nutritional facts state proper fat contents (i.e. two-digit) and they all look smoked, except the salmon filet I saw.


Here in Germany THE abundant and affordable fish for cans is Atlantic herring, and I look on a can with sauce and it says 60% herring and also has tomato concentrate and canola oil in the sauce and the fat content is 14.5g. That's supposed to be a typical fat content for the fish itself, but the figure is for the whole meal.

Also, the fattest herring from the main season is preferrably used to make matjes. Still though, 9.9-19.4% is the range of fat content stated for that type of fish.

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