It’s 2018 and we still get questions about whether frozen fish is as good as never-been-frozen fish. Here’s how we respond…Firstly, it’s all about the fish. The care that our fishermen put into each fish on their boats—cleaning it, stowing it quickly on ice—has a much greater impact on the quality of a fish than at what point in time the fish was caught. Blast freezing locks all the nutrients in, and stops all the biological processes in time, making a fish caught any time as good as it was when pulled out of the water.
In addition, frozen seafood is better for the environment than never-been-frozen fish. Easier to transport, freezing fish also reduces waste. 23% of the never-been-frozen fish in supermarkets goes to waste because it can’t be used in time.
This convenience for transport and storage is good for the retailer, the home consumer, and the fishermen. As Seafood Producers Cooperative fisherman Linda Behnken points out in this video made by our partners Alaskans Own, frozen seafood is also safer for fishermen because they “can pick their weather.”
In a blind taste test, consumers were asked to compare flash frozen seafood and never-been-frozen seafood. Across all categories, flash-frozen seafood was rated as either more appealing or statistically the same as never-been-frozen fish. We’re biased, because frozen seafood is what we sell through our website, for a variety of reasons, including convenience. But it’s also important to note the improved taste!
It’s all about starting with a high-quality fish, like an Alaskan wild salmon, treating it with care, freezing it quickly, and keeping it cold until it’s time to cook. Chef and seafood educator Barton Seaver notes that frozen seafood “is a major win for sustainability. It decreases waste and takes advantage of seasonal bounty to spread its availability throughout the year. From the introduction of micro-misting to more powerful and rapid deep-freeze technologies at lower temperatures, the process has really turned frozen product . . . into a means to capture pristine quality.”.
See a bit more about what happens behind-the-scenes at Seafood Producers Cooperative when we freeze fish for shipment to you our customers in this video filmed at our plant in Sitka, Alaska. We also include a fair amount of details in this blog post and frozen and fresh seafood.