Skip to main content Accessibility help

The response of Anisakis larvae to freezing

  • D.A. Wharton (a1) and O. Aalders (a1)


Anisakis third stage larvae utilize a variety of fish as intermediate hosts. Uncooked fish are rendered safe for human consumption by freezing. Larvae freeze by inoculative freezing from the surrounding medium but can survive freezing at temperatures down to -10°C. This ability may be aided by the production of trehalose, which can act as a cryoprotectant, but does not involve recrystallization inhibition. Monitoring of fish freezing in commercial blast freezers and under conditions which simulate those of a domestic freezer, indicate that it can take a long time for all parts of the fish to reach a temperature that will kill the larvae. This, and the moderate freezing tolerance of larvae, emphasizes the need for fish to be frozen at a low enough temperature and for a sufficient time to ensure that fish are safe for consumption.


Corresponding author

*Fax: 064 3 479 7584 E-mail:


Hide All
Barrett, J. (1981) Biochemistry of parasitic helminths. 308 pp. London, Macmillan.
Behm, C.A. (1997) The role of trehalose in the physiology of nematodes. International Journal for Parasitology 27, 215229.
Deardorff, T.L. & Throm, R. (1988) Commercial blastfreezing of third stage Anisakis larvae encapsulated in salmon and rockfish. Journal of Parasitology 74, 600603.
Deardorff, T.L., Raybourne, R.B. & Desowitz, R.S. (1984) Behavior and viability of third-stage larvae of Terranova sp. (type HA) and Anisakis simplex (type 1) under coolant conditions. Journal of Food Protection 47, 4957.
European Commission (1991) Council Directive of 22 July 1991 laying down the health conditions for the production and the placing on the market of fishery products, (91/493/EEC), Official Journal of the European Countries, No. L 268, 1532.
Finney, D.J. (1952) Probit analysis. 333 pp. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Gustafson, P.V. (1953) The effect of freezing on encysted Anisakis larvae. Journal of Parasitology 39, 585588.
Howgate, P. (1998) Freezing to kill nematode parasites in fish products: Implications for HACCP. May 1998.
Karl, H. & Priebe, K. (1991) Inactivation of larval nematodes (Anisakis sp.) in seafish by carbon-dioxide shock frosting at 260 degrees C. Archiv für Lebensmittelhygiene 42, 4648.
Knight, C.A., Hallett, J. & DeVries, A.L. (1988) Solute effects on ice recrystallisation: an assessment technique. Cryobiology 25, 5560.
Lee, R.E. (1991) Principles of insect low temperature tolerance. pp. 1746 in Lee, R.E. & Denlinger, D.L. (Eds) Insects at low temperatures. New York and London, Chapman & Hall.
Oshima, T. (1987) Anisakiasis – is the sushi bar guilty? Parasitology Today 3, 4448.
Sakanari, J.A. & McKerrow, J.H. (1989) Anisakiasis. Clinical Microbiology Reviews 2, 278284.
Smith, J.W. & Wootten, R. (1978) Anisakis and anisakiasis. Advances in Parasitology 16, 92163.
Takabe, K., Ohki, S., Kunihiro, O., Sakashita, T., Endo, I., Ichikawa, Y., Sekido, H., Amano, T., Nakatani, Y., Suzuki, K. & Shimada, H. (1998) Anisakidosis – a cause of intestinal obstruction from eating sushi. American Journal of Gastroenterology 93, 11721173.
Wharton, D.A. (1995) Cold tolerance strategies in nematodes. Biological Reviews 70, 161185.
Wharton, D.A. & Allan, G.S. (1989) Cold tolerance mechanisms of the free-living stages of Trichostrongylus colubriformis (Nematoda: Trichostrongylidae). Journal of Experimental Biology 145, 353370.
Wharton, D.A. & Block, W. (1997) Differential scanning calorimetry studies on an Antarctic nematode (Panagrolaimus davidi ) which survives intracellular freezing. Cryobiology 34, 114121.
Wharton, D.A. & Brown, I.M. (1991) Cold tolerance mechanisms of the Antarctic nematode Panagrolaimus davidi. Journal of Experimental Biology 155, 629641.
Wharton, D.A. & Ferns, D.J. (1995) Survival of intracellular freezing by the Antarctic nematode Panagrolaimus davidi. Journal of Experimental Biology 198, 13811387.
Wharton, D.A. & McCormick, B. (1993) A computer control system for thermoelectric cooling devices. Cryo-letters 14, 353358.
Wharton, D.A. & Rowland, J.J. (1984) A thermoelectric microscope stage for the measurement of the supercooling points of microscopic organisms. Journal of Microscopy 134, 299305.
Wharton, D.A., Hassall, M.-L. & Aalders, O. (1999) Anisakis (Nematoda) in some New Zealand inshore fish. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 33, 643648.
Wharton, D.A., Judge, K.F. & Worland, M.R. (2000) Cold acclimation and cryoprotectants in a freeze-tolerant Antarctic nematode. Panagrolaimus davidi. Journal of Comparative Physiology B 170, 321327.

The response of Anisakis larvae to freezing

  • D.A. Wharton (a1) and O. Aalders (a1)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed