Tag Archives: dry pack

Love Seafood? Then BEWARE

food from the sea

Are You A Seafood Lover?

If you are, as I am, you must beware of a few issues that seem to be causing a lot of problems. There are certain chemicals being used to promote freshness…they say.  However, you bottom line is there is another side to this practice that is deceptive and should be illegal to use.

The bottom line is using the chemical sodium tripolyphosphate, is will increase the weight of the product. I see this used is most seafood, such as scallops. I used to buy sea scallops packed in a cloth bag, iced down in a seafood box.

Then seafood processors started purging this bag a scallops, as well as most all seafood,  in a solution of sodium tripolyphosphate, supposedly to prevent dehydration (lose of weight), but it hydrated the product and had a dramatic weight gain. That my friend increase THEIR profit from the additional weight, and created real dangers for the consumer.

Labeling Problems for Seafood

In the U.S. it is not mandatory to provide labeling of this chemical, so consumer s are not aware the potentially toxic chemical is present on the seafood they are about to serve, whether at home or a favorite restaurant.

Why Should There Be A Label For This?

STPP, which is short for Sodium tripolyphosphate,, is used ti firm up the product and make it appear to be fresher. This is commonly used with products such as frozen fish fillet, fresh and frozen scallops, shrimp, and most all flaky fish, such as sole, hake, and also imitation crab meat.

This practice is a lot like the use of carbon monoxide on meats to help old meats appear fresher. Yuk!

All this means you are paying out of your pocket for the additional weight that this practice producing for their profit margin. Have you ever bought scallops in a container and it appeared milky, or cooked a fish fillet and saw some milkiness liquid coming out of the product?  or maybe you notice the scallop or product shrank quite a bit after a little cooking time. I’ll bet you have. Right?

Registered Pesticide – California

STPP in large amounts,  are a suspected neurotoxin. It is also a registered, and in California it is a known air contaminant. So, what’s next? You can not pay a bit of attention to this problem, or you can try to stay away from markets and restaurants who do not know if this chemical is present in their product, or will not tell you.

The seafood industry refers to this type of processing as “wet” pack. I have spoken to many in my market, and those who have listened know what I mean. It is not mandatory, as a previously mentioned, for companies and packers to label products with STPP as an ingredient, but you should at least check the labels ingredients to see if it is present.

Be Vocal About Your Seafood Concerns

Ask questions and find out where the fish and seafood you are about to purchase come, from when shopping at your favorite market or restaurant.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Maurice Smith