This study established that geosmin depuration from European eel is not affected by the water renewal rate of depuration tanks. A general fish bioaccumulation model extended with terms that account for effects of tank water renewal rate and system losses of chemicals, predicted strong effects of the water renewal rate of depuration tanks on geosmin depuration from European eel. Model predictions were validated in a depuration experiment with geosmin-loaded European eel (n = 95) with a mean (SD) individual weight of 134.4 (5.0) g and a mean (SD) lipid content of 33.7 (2.8) % (w/w). Fish were depurated for 24, 48 or 72 h at three different tank water renewal rates (0.3, 3.3 and 33 day-1). Treatments were installed by three different mean (SD) water flow rates (13.8 (1.3), 143.5 (9.2) and 1511 (80) L kg fish-1 day-1) over 30-L tanks. Eels eliminated geosmin from their bodies, but unlike the model predicted, this was independent of the water renewal rate of the depuration tanks. Although being eliminated from the fish, geosmin hardly appeared and certainly did not accumulate in the water of the depuration tanks as the model predicted. This observation may be explained by geosmin being eliminated from eel as metabolite rather than the parent compound. Geosmin elimination from eel seems not to occur according to the generally accepted passive diffusion mechanism for excretion of lipophilic chemicals, and geosmin biotransformation by the eel seems indicated. Clearly geosmin depuration from European eel cannot be enhanced by increasing water renewal rates of depuration tanks.
- European eel
- Off-flavour depuration