Selecting Quality Seafood – Choosing Frozen Over Fresh

All we seem to hear on the news lately are the benefits seafood has on the body. Every day, researchers are pouring out new evidence confirming the healthy rewards of a seafood rich diet: better skin, increased memory, and even 澳門海味 smarter babies. With all this valuable information about the health benefits of seafood, consumers are largely unaware of varying degrees in the quality of the seafood they purchase.

Still today, unless shipped straight from the processor, it is difficult to find high quality seafood in many parts of the country. When compared to other forms of processed seafood, fresh seafood is generally viewed by the consumer as the highest quality product available. The use of misleading terms and phrases by many in the seafood industry has wrongly led many consumers to believe that fresh seafood is actually synonymous with high quality. In the seafood industry the word “fresh” specifically refers to a product that has never been frozen; it gives absolutely no insight to the actual quality of that product or its “freshness”.   

The reality is fresh seafood is rarely the highest quality product available. Only when consumers are close to the source, during the fishing season, can high quality fresh seafood be found. This is because once seafood is harvested a slow and continual decomposition begins and continues throughout the entire transportation process. Enzymes found in the muscle tissues begin to break down the flesh, which over a short amount of time can greatly jeopardize the quality of the seafood. Once the breakdown is initiated there is no process to reverse it. There is, however, a process that can stop the breakdown, usually for a considerable amount of time.
While fresh seafood is in a continual state of deteriorating quality, the decomposition in frozen fish (also known as fresh-frozen) is stopped and the quality is maintained at the level it was upon freezing.   Due to minimal breakdown, in many cases frozen seafood can be found in a superior quality to fresh seafood. An example might help explain: two fish were caught at the same time; the first fish was processed and shipped from Alaska to California as a fresh fillet, while the second was shipped to the same location as a frozen fillet. At the point of arrival the frozen fish is a higher quality than the fresh fish because its freshness was “locked in” at the time of freezing, where the first fish had been slowly breaking down and losing quality throughout the entire transportation process. 

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