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Abstract

Fillets of channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus, from three geographic areas, fillets of hybrid catfish (♀ I. punctatus × ♂ blue catfish, Ictalurus furcatus) from one of the areas, water samples from the culture ponds, and feed samples were subjected to elemental analysis by inductive-coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES). The fillets were low in concentrations of several elements, and ICP-AES could consistently detect only 11 elements. In addition, the composition of the fillets was not greatly influenced by water chemistry or feed composition. Nevertheless, both canonical discriminant analysis and K-nearest-neighbor analysis were reliable in separating the fillets to geographic area of origin and separating hybrid from channel catfish fillets based on elemental composition. Although this study suggests that multielement analysis and pattern recognition techniques have potential for validating the geographic origin of catfish fillets, much more work is needed to perfect the technique.