In the last few years, frozen fish has become a solid alternative to fresh fish. Consumers find its characteristics wholly acceptable. Besides, it does not have to be cleaned at home, it has a long shelf life and it may be cooked easily without needing to be handled in any other way.
Frozen fish only needs to be thawed before eating, so its muscle tissue has the same nutritional properties as fresh fish and it may be prepared using any cooking method.
The cold chain must not be broken after purchase. The product must be kept at the same temperature, so you should use isothermal bags to transport it if you are not going home immediately.
Glazing is a very important question for consumers. It is usually carried out by adding one or more layers of water that is later frozen on the product to protect it from oxidation. Although it is faultless and technically correct, it may easily mislead the consumer. Labels must give information about the amount of water added, either in percentage form or by indicating the gross and net weight. The only exception is if there is under 5 per cent water content. This information is essential if you want to know what price you are paying per weight, because often the price variations of a frozen product are due to the differences in glaze content.
Many consumers complain that frozen fish is of lower quality than fresh fish. They indicate that the texture of frozen fish is worse and that it has a peculiar flavour. But this statement has a lot to do with prior information or with eating fish that has not been treated properly. Many people mistake fresh fish for frozen fish that has been treated correctly, so that if it has been prepared in the same way, consumers rarely know which one they are eating. The cook’s expertise is really the deciding factor.
One of the disadvantages of frozen fish is finding the easiest way to consume it. For best quality, it should ideally be thawed very slowly, preferably starting the day before. When fish is thawed rapidly, the ice structure is modified and produces breaks in the muscle fibres and internal loss of liquid. Nutrients are also lost, and there are changes in texture that alter the natural flavour of the fish.
Thaw fish slowly. Water will pass from solid to liquid little by little, without breaking the fibres and without alterations. You will then have frozen fish that has maintained a quality very similar to that of fresh fish.
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