Science

Study comes to the defence of frozen fish

Study comes to the defence of ...
Freshly-caught cod – freeze it or leave it?
Freshly-caught cod – freeze it or leave it?
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The texture of the fish was tested by measuring the shear force required to cut through pieces of filet
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The texture of the fish was tested by measuring the shear force required to cut through pieces of filet
Freshly-caught cod – freeze it or leave it?
2/2
Freshly-caught cod – freeze it or leave it?

Many seafood connoisseurs will tell you that fresh fish is without a doubt the best kind to use, with frozen coming in a distant second. According to a new study from Norwegian research group SINTEF, however, frozen fish can be just as good as fresh, if not better – as long as the correct steps are followed.

The study, which was conducted in collaboration with the Norwegian Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research (NIFES) and the Icelandic research institute Matís, compared fresh and frozen cod.

To start with, it was determined that the fish must be frozen as soon as it's hauled aboard the fishing boat, before rigor mortis sets in. It must then remain frozen at a stable and low temperature, right up until it's being thawed for resale.

The thawing process itself itself should be done in water, with air bubbles added for best results.

In lab tests, the scientists first tried thawing the fish over a period of 28 hours, starting with a water temperature of 10 ºC (50 ºF) that was gradually lowered to 0.5 ºC (33 ºF). They then tried thawing it at a constant temperature of 10 ºC, over a six-hour period. The quality of the thawed cod was very similar in both cases, to the point that the researchers state the fish shouldn't be thawed for more than 28 hours.

The texture of the fish was tested by measuring the shear force required to cut through pieces of filet
The texture of the fish was tested by measuring the shear force required to cut through pieces of filet

When the thawed and then refrigerated fish was subsequently tested for factors such as bacterial content, texture, colour, airiness and consistency of the flesh, it was found that it remained at "top quality" for up to 10 days.

"I hope that these research results may contribute towards opening people's eyes to frozen fish, which in some cases is better than fresh fish," says SINTEF scientist Guro Møen Tveit. "After all, it often takes many days before fresh fish reaches the sales counters."

Source: Gemini

2 comments
Pablo
Brought to you by the "American Farmed-Frozen Fish Marketing Board"... Clearly written by folks who've never actually eaten fresh fish. You could perform these tests on cat litter and come to the same conclusion.
ljaques
Hey, if they think 10-day old fish is still "fresh", they have another think coming. Thawing in water for up to 28 hours, where all the flavor and nutritious oils seep out? Nah.
I'm perfectly happy with Gorton's crunchy breaded fish fillets and my fresh-baked handcut fries.
The only fish I demand fresh is Yellowtail (fresh off a friend's boat eons ago, which I smoked) and Steelhead, which comes out of the river next to me. I've tried farmed fish and it tastes like the commercial crap food it's fed with, Purina Trout Treats or whatever. Whenever I buy fresh frozen fish from the local stores, I ask when they'll be thawing another batch and grab something from that. Wild Steelhead or Wild Salmon, usually. No 10-day old carp or GMO-fed farmed catfish/tilapia for me, thankyouverymuch. Right you are, Pablo.