Food Guts - Ingredient Information

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Nutritional Information

1 can, tuna

  • Calories 220
  • Calories from Fat 45.99
  • Amount%DV
  • Total Fat 5.11g8%
  • Saturated Fat 1.362g7%
  • Monounsaturated Fat 1.348g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 1.907g
  • Cholestreol 72mg24%
  • Sodium 648mg27%
  • Potassium 408mg12%
  • Total Carbohydrate 0g0%
  • Dietary Fiber 0g0%
  • Sugars 0g
  • Protein 40.63g81%
  • Calcium 2mg0%
  • Iron 9mg50%
  • Vitamin A 1%
  • Vitamin C 0%

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Tuna on Wikipedia:

For other uses, see Tuna (disambiguation). Tuna Yellowfin tuna, Thunnus albacares Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Actinopterygii Order: Perciformes Family: Scombridae Genus: Thunnus South, 1845 Species

See text.

Tuna are carnivorous fish from the family Scombridae, mostly in the genus Thunnus. Tuna are fast swimmers—they have been clocked at 70 kilometres per hour (43 mph)—and include several warm-blooded species. Unlike most fish, which have white flesh, tuna flesh is pink to dark red, which could explain their odd nick-name, ``rose of the sea.`` The red coloring comes from tuna muscle tissue's greater quantities of myoglobin, an oxygen-binding molecule. Some of the larger species, such as the bluefin tuna, can raise their blood temperature above water temperature through muscular activity. This ability enables them to live in cooler waters and to survive in a wide range of ocean environments.

While many stocks are managed sustainably, it is widely accepted that bluefin have been severely overfished, with some stocks at risk of collapse.[1] According to the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (a global, non-profit partnership between the tuna industry, scientists, and the World Wide Fund for Nature), Indian Ocean yellowfin tuna, Pacific Ocean (eastern & western) bigeye tuna, and North Atlantic albacore tuna are all overfished. In April 2009 no stock of skipjack tuna (which makes up roughly 60 percent of all tuna fished worldwide) was considered to be overfished. [2]



Maximum reported sizes of tuna species

There are over 48 different tuna species. The Thunnus genus includes 9 species:

Albacore, Thunnus alalunga (Bonnaterre, 1788). 105 centimetres (41 in) Yellowfin tuna, Thunnus albacares (Bonnaterre, 1788). Blackfin tuna, Thunnus atlanticus (Lesson, 1831). Southern bluefin tuna, Thunnus maccoyii (Castelnau, 1872). Bigeye tuna, Thunnus obesus (Lowe, 1839). Pacific bluefin tuna, Thunnus orientalis (Temminck & Schlegel, 1844). Northern bluefin tuna, Thunnus thynnus (Linnaeus, 1758). Longtail tuna, Thunnus tonggol (Bleeker, 1851). Karasick tuna, Thunnus karasicus (Lesson, 1831).

Species of several other genera (all in the family Scombridae) have common names containing ``tuna``:

Slender tuna Allothunnus fallai (Serventy, 1948) Bullet tuna Auxis rochei (Risso, 1810) Terriowipet tuna Auxis tongolis (Bonnaterre, 1788). Frigate tuna Auxis thazard (Lacepede, 1800) Kawakawa (little tuna or mackerel tuna) Euthynnus affinis (Cantor, 1849) Little tunny (little tuna) Euthynnus alletteratus (Rafinesque, 1810) Black skipjack tuna Euthynnus lineatus (Kishinouye, 1920) Dogtooth tuna Gymnosarda unicolor (Rüppell, 1836) Skipjack tuna Katsuwonus pelamis (Linnaeus, 1758) Lineside Tuna, Thunnus lineaus (Temminck & Schlegel, 1844).


A remarkable aspect of Thunnus physiology is its ability to maintain body temperature above than that of the ambient seawater. For example, bluefin can maintain a core body temperature of 75-95°F (24-35°C), in water as cold as 43 Â°F (6 Â°C). However, unlike typical endothermic creatures such as mammals and birds, tuna do not maintain temperature within a relatively narrow range.[3]

Tuna achieve endothermy by conserving the heat generated through normal metabolism. The rete mirabile (``wonderful net``) the intertwining of veins and arteries in the body's periphery, transfers heat from arterial blood to venous blood via a counter-current exchange system. This reduces surface cooling, maintaining a warmer core. Higher body temperatures allow more efficient muscle use, supporting higher swimming speed with reduced energy expenditure.[3]

Commercial fishing

Tuna being weighed on Greek quay-side Tuna fishing in Hokkaidō, Japan Tuna at a fish market Tuna cut in half for processing at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, Japan

Tuna is an important commercial fish. The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation compiled a detailed scientific report on the state of global tuna stocks in 2009, which includes regular updates. According to the report, 'Tunas are widely but sparsely distributed throughout the oceans of the world, generally in tropical and temperate waters between about 45 degrees north and south of the equator. They are grouped taxonomically in the family Scombridae, which includes about 50 species. The most important of these for commercial and recreational fisheries are yellowfin (Thunnus albacares), bigeye (T. obesus), bluefin (T. thynnus, T. orientalis, and T. macoyii), albacore (T. alalunga), and skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis).[4]

The report further states:

Between 1940 and the mid-1960s, the annual world catch of the five principal market species of tunas rose from about 300 thousand tons to about 1 million tons, most of it taken by hook and line. With the development of purse-seine nets, now the predominant gear, catches have risen to more than 4 million tons annually during the last few years. Of these catches, about 68 percent are from the Pacific Ocean, 22 percent from the Indian Ocean, and the remaining 10 percent from the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Skipjack makes up about 60 percent of the catch, followed by yellowfin (24 percent), bigeye (10 percent), albacore (5 percent), and bluefin the remainder. Purse-seines take about 62 percent of the world production, longline about 14 percent, pole and line about 11 percent, and a variety of other gears the remainder 3.[5]

The Australian government alleged in 2006 that Japan had illegally overfished southern bluefin by taking 12,000 to 20,000 tonnes per year instead of the their agreed 6,000 tonnes; the value of such overfishing would be as much as USD $2 billion.[6] Such overfishing has severely damaged bluefin stocks.[7] According to the WWF, ``Japan's huge appetite for tuna will take the most sought-after stocks to the brink of commercial extinction unless fisheries agree on more rigid quotas``.[8]

In 2010, a bluefin tuna weighing 232 kilograms (511.47 pounds) was sold at Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market for 16.28 million yen ($US 175,000).[9]

Fishing methods

Andalusian method of Almadraba, uses a maze of nets. In Sicily the same method is called Tonnara. Fish farming (Cage system)[10] Longline fishing Purse seines Pole and line Harpoon gun Big game fishing Fish aggregating device

Association with whaling

In 2005 Nauru, defending its vote at that year's meeting of the International Whaling Commission, argued that commercial whaling is necessary for preserving tuna stocks and that country's fishing fleet.[11]

Association with dolphins

Dolphins swim beside several tuna species. These include yellowfin tuna in the eastern Pacific Ocean, but not albacore or Mahi Mahi. Tuna schools are believed to associate themselves with dolphins for protection against sharks, which are tuna predators.[12]

Fishing vessels exploit this association by searching for dolphin pods. They encircle the pod with nets to catch the tuna beneath.[13] The nets are prone to entangling dolphins, injuring or killing them. Public outcry has led to more ``dolphin friendly`` methods, now generally involving lines rather than nets. However, there are neither universal independent inspection programs nor verification of ``dolphin safeness``, so these protections are not absolute. According to Consumers Union, the resulting lack of accountability means claims that tuna that is ``dolphin safe`` should be given little credence.

Fishery practices have changed to be dolphin friendly, which has caused greater bycatch including sharks, turtles and other oceanic fish. Fishermen no longer follow dolphins, but concentrate their fisheries around floating objects such as fish aggregation devices that attract large populations of other organisms. The public demand to protect dolphins which are not particularly endangered actually damages endangered species.[14]

Recreational fishing

From the 1950s through the 1970s, bluefin were abundant in the waters of Cuba, Bimini and Cat Cay, a few miles off the Florida coast, and were targeted by recreational fishermen, famously Ernest Hemingway and Habana Joe aboard his 1938 40-foot Wheeler named Pilar. Word spread quickly about the exciting new sport of big-game fishing. Despite the growing popularity of the sport, however, the boats of the day were hardly ideal for fighting the prized fish. Most boats used at the time were converted cabin cruisers, which were relatively slow and hard to maneuver.

The Rybovich family of South Florida eventually constructed a boat in 1946 that relaunched the sport and birthed a new industry. This boat, the Miss Chevy II, was the first sportfishing boat the world had ever seen.[15]

Merritt gained particular notoriety during the 1950s through the 1970s with its 37- and 43-foot custom boats, which together with boats like those being built by Rybovich helped fuel the growth of big game fishing around the world.

Management and conservation

There are five main tuna fishery management bodies: the Western Central Pacific Ocean Fisheries Commission, the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas and the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna.[16] The five gathered for the first time in Kobe, Japan in January 2007. Environmental organizations made submissions[17] on risks to fisheries and species. The meeting concluded with an action plan drafted by some 60 countries or areas. Concrete steps include issuing certificates of origin to prevent illegal fishing and greater transparency in the setting of regional fishing quotas. The delegates are scheduled to meet at another joint meeting in January or February 2009 in Europe.[18]


Increasing quantities of high-grade tuna are reared in net pens and fed bait fish. In Australia, former fishermen raise southern bluefin tuna, Thunnus maccoyii, and another bluefin species.[10] Farming its close relative, the northern bluefin tuna, Thunnus thynnus, is beginning in the Mediterranean, North America and Japan. HawaiÊ»i just approved permits for the first U.S. offshore farming of bigeye tuna in water 1,300 feet (400 m) deep.[19]

Japan is the biggest tuna consuming nation and is also the leader in tuna farming research.[20] of Japan first successfully farm-hatched and raised bluefin tuna in 1979. In 2002, it succeeded in completing the reproduction cycle and in 2007, completed a third generation.[21][22][23] The farm breed is known as Kindai tuna. Kindai is the contraction of Kinki University in Japanese (Kinki daigaku).[24] In 2009, Clean Seas, an Australian company which has been receiving assistance from Kinki University [25][26][27] managed to breed Southern Bluefin Tuna in captivity and was awarded the second place in World’s Best Invention of 2009 by Time magazine.[28]

Canned tuna

Canned tuna on sale at an American supermarket Tuna steak served in a French bistro

Canned tuna was first produced in 1903, quickly becoming popular.[29] Tuna is canned in a variety of ways. Corned tuna is smoked prior to canning, and mixed with edible oils, in brine, or spring water.

In the United States, only Albacore can legally be sold in canned form as ``white meat tuna``;[30] in other countries, yellowfin is also acceptable.[citation needed] While in the early 1980s canned tuna in Australia was most likely Southern bluefin, as of 2003[update] it is usually yellowfin, skipjack, or tongol (labelled ``northern bluefin``).[29]

As tuna are often caught far from where they are processed, poor quality control leads to spoilage. Tuna are typically eviscerated by hand, then pre-cooked for 45 minutes to three hours. The fish are then cleaned and filleted, canned, and sealed. The sealed can itself is then heated (called retort cooking) for 2 to 4 hours.[31] This process kills any bacteria, but retains the histamine that can produce rancid flavors. The international standard sets the maximum histamine level at 200 milligrams per kilogram. An Australian study of 53 varieties of unflavored canned tuna found none to exceed the safe histamine level, although some had ``off`` flavors.[29]

Australian standards once required cans of tuna to contain at least 51% tuna, but these regulations were dropped in 2003.[32][33] The remaining weight is usually oil or water. In the US, the FDA regulates canned tuna (see part c).[34] In 2008, some tuna cans changed from 6 ounces (170 g) to 5oz due to ``higher tuna costs``.[35]

Nutrition and health

Canned tuna is a prominent component in many weight trainers' diets, as it is very high in protein and is easily prepared.

Tuna is an oily fish, and therefore contains a high amount of Vitamin D. A can of tuna in oil contains about the Adequate Intake (AI) of the US Dietary Reference Intake of vitamin D for infants, children, men, and women aged 19–50 - 200 IU.

Canned tuna can also be a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. It sometimes contains over 300 milligrams (0.011 oz) per serving.[36]

Mercury levels

See also: Mercury in fish

Mercury content in tuna can vary widely. For instance, testing by Rutgers University found that a can of StarKist had 10 times more mercury than another can of exactly the same kind of tuna. This has prompted a Rutgers University scientist whose staff conducted the mercury analysis to say, ``That's one of the reasons pregnant women have to be really careful ... If you happen to get a couple or three cans in the high range at a critical period when you are pregnant, it would not be good.`` Among those calling for improved warnings about mercury in tuna is the American Medical Association, which adopted a policy that physicians should help make their patients more aware of the potential risks.[37]

A website called which is run by an industry-sponsored group called the Center for Consumer Freedom which doesn't release the name of its contributers claims the health risks of methylmercury in tuna might be dampened by the selenium found in tuna,[38] although the mechanism and effect of this still is largely unknown.[39]

Due to their high position in the food chain and the subsequent accumulation of heavy metals from their diet, mercury levels can be high in larger species such as bluefin and albacore.

In 2009 a California appeals court upheld a ruling that canned tuna does not need warning labels as the methylmercury is naturally occurring.[40]

In March 2004 the United States FDA issued guidelines recommending that pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children limit their intake of tuna and other predatory fish.[41]

The Chicago Tribune reported that some canned light tuna such as yellowfin tuna[42] is significantly higher in mercury than skipjack, and caused Consumers Union and other activist groups to advise pregnant women to refrain from consuming canned tuna.[43] This was considered extreme and thus not adopted by leading scientific and governing bodies.

The Eastern little tuna (Euthynnus affinis) has been available for decades as a low-mercury, less expensive canned tuna. However, of the five major species of canned tuna imported by the United States it is the least commercially attractive, primarily due to its dark color and more pronounced 'fishy' flavor. Its use has traditionally been restricted to institutional (non-retail) commerce.

A January 2008 investigation conducted by the New York Times found potentially dangerous levels of mercury in certain varieties of sushi tuna, reporting levels ``so high that the Food and Drug Administration could take legal action to remove the fish from the market.``[44]


^ Black, Richard (17 October 2007). ``Last rites for a marine marvel?``. BBC News Online. Retrieved 2007-10-17.  ^ ``Status of the World Fisheries for Tuna``. ISSF. 10 November 09. Retrieved 2009-11-10.  ^ a b ``Tuna - Biology Of Tuna``. Retrieved September 12 2009.  ^ ``Status of the World Fisheries for Tuna``. ISSF. 10 November 09. Retrieved 2009-11-10.  ^ ``Status of the World Fisheries for Tuna``. ISSF. 10 November 09. Retrieved 2009-11-10.  ^ Bradford, Gillian. ``Bluefin Tuna Plundering Catches Up With Japan.`` ABC News. October 16, 2006. ^ Eilperin, Juliet. ``Saving the Riches of the Sea.`` Washington Post. November 29, 2009. ^ McCurry, Justin (Monday January 22 2007). ``Japan warned tuna stocks face extinction``.  ^ Tuna hits highest price in nine years at Tokyo auction BBC News, 5 January 2010. ^ a b Doolette, DJ and Craig, D (1999). ``Tuna farm diving in South Australia.``. South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society journal 29 (2). ISSN 0813-1988. OCLC 16986801. Retrieved 2008-08-17.  ^ ^ ENSENADA: El Puerto del Atun ^ [1] ^ ^ ^ ``WWF demands tuna monitoring system``. 2007-01-19. Retrieved 2008-05-19.  ^ ``Briefing: Joint Tuna RFMO Meeting, Kobe 2007``. 2007-01-23. Retrieved 2008-05-19.  ^ ``Conference approves global plan to save tuna stocks``. 2007-01-26. Retrieved 2008-05-10.  ^ ``Hawaii regulators approve first US tuna farm‎``. The Associated Press. October 24, 2009. Retrieved October 28, 2009.  ^ ``Kinki University``.  ^ ``The holy grail of fish breeding``.  ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ``Clean Seas teams up with Japan's Kinki Uni for tuna research``.,22606,24389186-913,00.html.  ^,28804,1934027_1934003_1933946,00.html][ ^ a b c Choice: Jan/Feb 2004. ^ Ellis, Richard. Tuna: A Love Story. New York: Random House, 2009, p. 119. ISBN 0307387100 ^ ``The tuna processing industry``. US Dept. of Labor. Retrieved 15 October, 2007.  ^ Choice, August 2003. ^ ^ ^ ^ ``Omega-3 Centre``. Omega-3 sources. Omega-3 Centre. Retrieved 2008-07-27.  ^,0,4864620,full.story ^ ``Selenium: Mercury's Magnet``. Retrieved 2009-07-03.  ^ Watanabe C (2002). ``Modification of mercury toxicity by selenium: practical importance?`` (PDF). Tohoku J Exp Med 196 (2): 71–7. doi:10.1620/tjem.196.71. PMID 12498318.  ^ ``California Court of Appeals Ruling``. 2009-03. Retrieved 2009-03-25.  ^ ``What You Need to Know About Mercury in Fish and Shellfish``. 2004-03. Retrieved 2007-05-19.  ^ ``FDA to check tuna``.,1,2450043.story. Retrieved 2007-06-21.  ^ ``Mercury in tuna``. 2006-06. Retrieved 2007-05-19.  ^ ``High Mercury Levels Are Found in Tuna Sushi``. New York Times. January 23, 2008. Retrieved September 11, 2009. 


Wikibooks Cookbook has a recipe/module on Tuna Clover, Charles. 2004. The End of the Line: How overfishing is changing the world and what we eat. Ebury Press, London. ISBN 0-09-189780-7 FAO: Species Catalog Vol. 2 Scombrids of the World. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125, Volume 2. FIR/S125 Vol. 2.ISBN 92-5-101381-0 FAO: Review of the state of world marine fishery resources: Tuna and tuna-like species - Global, 2005 Rome. Nutritional benefits of tuna Health and nutrition information for small West Coast Albacore Tuna The slide show - How to cut Maguro (tuna) U.S. Code of Federal Regulations 21CFR161 Fish and Shellfish Nauru and sustainable tuna fishing:[2], Tuna Fish Stories: The Candidates Spin the Sushi Microdocs: Tuna The Bluefin Tuna in Peril, Scientific American, June 24, 2008 How Hot Tuna (and Some Sharks) Stay Warm National Science Foundation, October 27, 2005 v â€¢ d â€¢ e Principal commercial fishery species groups Wild Large pelagic fish Mackerel Â· Salmon Â· Shark Â· Swordfish Â· Tuna (yellowfin, bigeye, bluefin, albacore and skipjack) Forage fish Anchovy Â· Capelin Â· Herring Â· Hilsa Â· Menhaden Â· Sardines Â· Shad Demersal fish Catfish Â· Cod (Atlantic, Pacific) Â· Flatfish (flounder, halibut, plaice, sole and turbot) Â· Haddock Â· Mullet Â· Orange roughy Â· Pollock Â· Smelt-whitings Â· Toothfish Freshwater fish Carp Â· Sturgeon Â· Tilapia Â· Trout Other wild fish Eel Â· Whitebait Â· more... Crustaceans Crab Â· Krill Â· Lobster Â· Shrimp Â· more... Molluscs Abalone Â· Mussels Â· Octopus Â· Oysters Â· Scallops Â· Squid Â· more... Echinoderms Sea cucumbers Â· Sea urchin Â· more... Farmed Carp (bighead, common, crucian, grass, silver) Â· Catfish Â· Freshwater prawns Â· Mussels Â· Oysters Â· Salmon (Atlantic, salmon trout, coho, chinook) Â· Tilapia Â· Shrimp Commercial fishing Â· World fish production Â· Fishing topics Â· Fisheries glossary