Misconception About Frozen Seafood
Myth #1: Fresh is always better
Ditch the belief that fresh is always better than frozen. Frozen thawed prawns are just as fresh. Since fresh prawns have a brief shelf life, almost all prawns are frozen right after being harvested. This freezing process preserves the freshness during shipping.
Myth #2 They are simply thrown into a big fridge during freezing
If only it were that simple! For frozen thawed prawns, professional processing plants harvest them and freeze them in a strict and proper manner. In a reference manual from Food and Agriculture of the United Nations¹ , the freezing process at these plants are professionally done to avoid physical damage to the muscle structure of the prawns. This freezing process also decreases the production of “drip” (leak) at the moment of thawing, so they preserve the look and taste of the prawns the same as before freezing.
FairPrice only imports live frozen prawns from various processing plants that have their own fresh farms which are within 30 minutes’ drive range. All fresh prawns are ‘live’ when they arrive at the processing plants. The transport trucks have water tanks with the oxygen supply machine on board to make sure the prawns are live when they arrive at the processing plant.
A grading machine will proceed grade the fresh live prawns to different sizes within a few minutes after arrival. The live prawns are then subsequently frozen individually at -40 degree Celsius and the entire process is under 30 minutes. The fresh prawn are alive before they are quickly frozen, which keeps the cell unbroken to lock the nutrition and freshness of the prawn.
Myth #3: Frozen thawed prawns don’t taste as good
Now that you know how these little ones are professionally frozen, you can be assured that frozen thawed prawns have less hurt cells and juicy goodness are sealed properly! Frozen thawed prawns taste just as good and they are suitable for all fresh prawn cooking methods such as boiling them for a soup, stir-frying or just smoking them up on a grill.
Looking at how to select the freshest of the lot? Here are some tips:
- Smooth and shiny shell: if the shell looks shiny and smooth on the surface, the prawn are fresh.
- Avoid black heads: prawns would die a few hours after harvesting, the protein in the brain is the first to decompose, looking black, which means it isn’t fresh.
- A firm body: fresh prawns’ meat texture should be firm.
- Fresh smell: fresh prawns should have a slightly salty smell, if it produces a foul smell, that means the protein from the broken cell is rotting.
Myth #4: Frozen Fish is Less Healthy Than Fresh Fish
Many people are worried that fish loses its health benefits when frozen, but it actually has the same nutritional value as fresh fish—none of the nutritional value is lost when fish is frozen. No matter if the fish is fresh or frozen, you’ll be getting the same amount of essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and lean protein
Myth #5: Fresh fish is Higher Quality Than Frozen
Some people believe that fresh fish is of superior quality to frozen fish, especially if they’re concerned that the fish just sat around for a while before being frozen. In fact, these days most fish are actually frozen in a flash-freezing unit while still at sea. This happens just minutes after they’re caught, meaning they don’t travel by plane or train in small containers before being eaten, like some fresh fish do.
Myth #6: Frozen Fish Loses its Flavor and Texture
When you’re eating seafood, you want the best possible flavor and texture. Luckily, if you thaw your fish properly, the texture and flavor of your fish will be just as good as if it was fresh. For maximum quality, make sure the frozen fish you’re buying is free of ice crystals, spots or discoloration, as these are signs of freezer burn.