Lisbeth Hansen wrote:
Subject: Jellied Turbot/Greasy Haddock
Date: 15 January 1999                                            

I´m sort of jumping into the middle of a discussion here.  But when I read the recent postings on this topic, I started thinking about a similar problem which existed in the herring industry in Denmark 3-5 years ago.  A small percentage of herring (Clupea harengus) would simply be so degraded that they couldn´t be filleted.  It was discovered that the reason for this phenomenon was an infection with ichthyophonus hoferi and a colleague of mine back then, Dr. Bettina Spanggaard (e-mail: did extensive research on this problem.  I. hoferi has previously been found in Pacific waters around Japan and in various areas of the Atlantic Ocean, and is therefore not a local problem.  This organism is also known to attack other fish such as haddock, mackerel and plaice.  Hope this may help.

Peter Howgate Wrote

I refer to the message of 15 January from Lisbeth Hansen concerning ichthyophonus hoferi, (this organism is, or was, also called icthyosporidium hoferi).  As Lisbeth relates, it is a parasite that occurs in several species of fish and can affect various organs in the fish body, including the muscle.  It gives the muscle a soft, slimy texture and an offensive odour.  In Britain it is known mostly in haddock when the condition is referred to as ´greasy haddock´.  The condition is another example of abnormal textures in fish, and should be noted by quality controllers, but it is not the same, and has different causes from, the chalky and the jelly conditions.  An account of the relevant, for fish technologists, part of Spanggaard´s work is given in Spanggaard, B. and Huss, H.H. 1996 ´Growth of the fish parasite ichthyophonus hoferi under food relevant conditions´, International Journal of Food Science and Technology, 31, 427-432.  This provides a bibliography of other published work, including other papers by Spanggaard.

Date 16.01.1999