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Shrimp and Preservatives: Part 1

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Joined: Dec 12, 2005


Posted to Thread #12332 at 3:21 pm on Oct 20, 2008

Below is the question I asked of a friend's husband who works in Oregon fisheries. I'm continuing my research for the bigger shrimp we buy here in Florida.

This addresses ONLY <i><b>small salad shrimp caught by this company off the West Coast</i></b>

***********email from Marilyn
Hey Wiz....

Not sure if DH can answer this question, but he's a seafood expert and I'm hoping shrimp falls into that same category.

I've been told here in Florida that ALL shrimp gets coated with a preservative, even the "never-frozen, fresh-caught local" shrimp netted in our Inter-coastal waters. I was also told the ONLY way you can eat a shrimp without preservatives is to catch it yourself.

I tried doing the research online and the diversity of shrimp preservatives is almost scary:
Sodium Tripolyphosphate
Sodium bisulfate
Sodium metabisulfate
Sodium Benzoate
Ascorbic Acid
Low Molecular Chritosan 1
Phytic acid
Crustacean preservative (which could be any of the above, I guess)

My question to the DH is this: Do most seafood preservatives come off when you remove the shell or skin? Or does the preservative leech into the flesh, so you're eating the preservative no matter how much you clean it?


******************[Response from Jerry in Oregon]

Our shrimp fishery is very different from what you describe. The shrimpers here, make 4 day trips, and store the whole shrimp in their holds layered in ice. These are small “salad” shimp: pandalus jordani is the species. The average finished count per pound ranges from 250 to 400; nothing like the gulfs 10 to 30 count per pound for tails. The boats add no chemicals at all. HACCP regulations require them to certify this fact.

The plant cooks and peels this shrimp mechanically and does use a sodium tripolophosphate bath, which is drained, prior to cooking and peeling; we then add salt before packaging. Our product is a ready to eat product. The tripolyphosphate on the finished shirmp is not detectable and so FDA does not require listing it as an ingredient. We must list salt which is added for flavor.

The peeling process uses huge volumes of water. Each machine uses about 5000 gallons of fresh water per hour. Sanitation is a major concern. Lysteria is our biggest fear.

Many of the chemicals you list are familiar to me; many have been tried over the years. On the West Coast chemical additives are no longer used on any fish we process (not the case 20 years ago). All this changed with the labeling laws.

Hope this helps. JERRY

Jesus saves. Buddha recycles.

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