Updated: Sep 5, 2019
With Seafood Week coming up (4th – 11th October), which focuses on a plethora of ways to buy, cook and dine out on great seafood choices, the Norwegian Seafood Council talks about the benefits of using Norwegian whitefish as the preferred protein
Freezing food is one of the oldest preservation methods. For centuries it has been used to prolong the availability of food over winter. The nature of freezing does not require added preservatives, as microorganisms do not grow on produce when the temperature falls below -9.5C. Yet it has long been the myth that fresh fish is best.
Such is the need to bust this myth it would not be surprising if many foodies were unaware that it is illegal to serve sushi had it not been frozen beforehand. The Food Standards Agency stipulates fish intended to be eaten raw or lightly cooked in food businesses and restaurants must be frozen first to kill parasites.
Today, frozen-at-sea production is now considered to be one of the best and most consistent sources of whitefish supply to the UK’s hotel, restaurant and catering industry. Frozen-at-sea produce is favoured by many award-winning fish and chip shops and is used in catering events where consumption volumes are high.
Defrost frozen-at-sea produce slowly to maintain the product’s plump cellular structure and taste.
The benefits to using frozen-at-sea produce include locking in optimal freshness, nutrients and taste without compromising on quality. Frozen-at-sea fish can also offer a superior source of omega-3 acids, vitamins A, B12 and D.
Other benefits apart from the consistently high quality of taste include a relatively stable price and an extended shelf life. Supply can be provided throughout the year, eliminating the impacts from seasonal fluctuations. There is also minimal wastage as the fish can be defrosted as required.
As for traceability, this was included in the Norwegian Food Act in the 1990s. It is common practice to be able to track back to the precise Norwegian vessel the fish stock has been caught from.
Frozen-at-sea produce from Norway is an excellent choice for perfect fish and chips. If you choose seafood from Norway for its superior quality, green credentials or simply for the story, you’ll be sourcing ingredients from a country where people take great pride in their rich fishing heritage.
FILLETED AND FROZEN
Once the fish is caught, it is processed, filleted and frozen to below -20C within 2-5 hours on board several advanced vessels fishing in the Arctic waters of the Barents Sea and the North Atlantic. All Norwegian frozen-at-sea vessels operate in accordance with Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point systems and are approved by the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.