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Apr 8, 2012 04:01 PM

Treated Shrimp

Are all shrimp treated with sodium metabisulfite? My local market listed their shrimp as treated with the following preservative. Is it that bad? Am I naive? I know they are ultra perishable. Are some retailers not being forthright? What's your perspective?

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  1. If you have a Whole Foods near you, that ingredient is on their list of "unacceptable ingredients" for sale in their store. So all of their shrimp will be free of it.

      1. Since most shrimp is received frozen, there is really no need for preservatives.

        Another additive to look for is sodium triphosphate, which is mainly used on shrimp to help them suck up moisture and hence weigh more before thawing, although again they will tell you otherwise. There are plenty of frozen shrimp out there without preservatives; if you and others insist on it, and tell them you are willing to pay a little more, maybe they will change their tune.

        1. I am not a big fan of farm raised seafood, especially the Asian stuff for many reasons. Most of the Asian Farm raised shrimp (IQF in the bags) are bloated with water & have no flavor.

          One bright spot in the industry is a Co. called OCEAN GARDEN. They produce both (#1) & (#2) grade wild and farm raised Mexican Whites & Browns as well as other products. They are a very well known brand in the restaurant industry and many of the top chefs consider them among the best.

          I have had both the Ocean Garden Farm Raised and wild shrimp. Their farm raised shrimp are outstanding and have a firm meaty texture without the water & they have a reasonably strong shrimp flavor. They come in 5 lb frozen blocks and are a little more expensive than the pumped Asian IQF shrimp but they are well worth it. The #1 wild ones are about as good as you can get & also come in 5 lb blocks.