The objective of this study is to determine the concentration of Formalin in three common species of iced fish namely; Mackerel, Horse mackerel and Sadinella consumed in Calabar, Cross River State of Nigeria. The aim is to ascertain whether the iced fishes consumed in Calabar contains formalin, and its concentration is within the permissible limits of the World Health Organization (WHO) in order to safeguard the health of the people. To achieve this, the samples were collected from the central market (Watt market) in Calabar and prepared by wet digestion method using a modified Nash’s reagent, and analysed using a UV spectrometer. The results of the analysis revealed that the average concentration of formalin in the three species of iced fish was 1.42, 1.83 and 2.20 mg/L for Mackerel, Horse mackerel and Sadinella respectively. Thus, the Formalin content of the fishes was in the order: Sadinella > Horse mackerel > Mackerel. These results indicate that the concentration of Formalin in the three species of iced fish consumed in the study area is low and within the permissible limit of WHO. Therefore, the consumption of these species of iced fish may not pose any health risk at the moment. However, effort has to be made by relevant authorities or agencies to ensure that Formalin-free ice fishes are not imported, produced or distributed for consumption in the State.
Keywords: Calabar, Concentration, Consumption, formalin, iced fish