Wendyl Wants to Know: Tinned tuna

Long Lunch 29/01/2018

Little fish salads in a can are not new to the tinned fish aisle but previously they mainly consisted of tuna and beans.

This one has pasta with onion and capsicum and I was pleased to see well caught tuna.

John West Tuna Pasta Salad Italian Style. $4.59 for 190g.

Ingredients (in order of greatest quantity first):

  • Cooked pasta (35%) (durum wheat, semolina, egg white) - this is normal everyday pasta, in the salad they are little shell shapes.
  • Purse seine caught skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis) (25%) - this means that the skipjack tuna are caught by a net which is put in the water to contain a school of tuna then the bottom is drawn up as in a purse to catch them.

    This is seen as a sustainable method of fishing as it results in a small amount of by-catch of other species, especially when used for fish which school together such as sardines, mackerel, herring and tuna.

    However, Greenpeace argues that skipjack tuna, which is the tuna in this salad, often schools with other species such as young bigeye or yellowfin tuna which often end up in the nets as well as sharks, rays, turtles and other species of fish.

    John West are also criticised for using fish aggregating devices (FAD) which are floating objects designed to attract fish which are strategically placed in the ocean.

    John West has made a pledge that 100% of its tuna would be sustainable by 2016.

There are a lot of vegetables visible in this salad.

  • Onion (17%)
  • Red capsicum (9%) - clearly visible in the salad.
  • Sunflower oil - this is made from sunflower seeds and most of the oil is unsaturated which makes it a healthy option.
  • Vinegar - this will be in here for flavour as part of a dressing.
  • Sugar - this isn’t too high in sugar. You’ll get 7.2g which is just under two teaspoons per 190g serving.
  • Water
  • Tomato paste (1%) - this will be in here for flavouring.
  • Spices (contains chilli, celery) - more flavour.
  • Basil - more flavour.
  • Salt - you’ll get 570mg of sodium per 190 g serve which is quite high and about half the daily recommended amount of sodium for people on a low-salt diet.
  • Garlic powder - this is dehydrated garlic.
  • Natural colour (paprika oleoresins) - good to see natural paprika used for colour.

My recommendations:

As an addition to a lunchbox for kids and adults this is a good healthy choice in my opinion.

There’s nothing artificial in here, it tastes great and the pasta provides carbs and energy to keep you going. 

At 884 kj or about 200 calories this is a reasonably low calorie, low fat snack as well.


  • Sustainably caught tuna
  • All natural ingredients
  • 884 kj per serve

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