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Flash freezing fish actually seals in nutrients so it is often fresher than fresh fish!
Seafood begins to decline in quality immediately after being caught, so flash freezing fish as soon as possible retains quality and seals in freshness. When fish is flash frozen at sea while still on board the boat it could not be fresher!
Flash frozen fish is as good as fresh fish – and sometimes even better!
At Pine Island Seafood Co. we believe that flash freezing is the optimal way to seal in freshness and taste. Flash freezing is different than throwing fish in a cooler and sticking it into a freezer. Flash-freezing is an accelerated process in which fish are frozen immediately after they’re harvested. It uses ultra-low temperatures to freeze fish solid in a matter of seconds.
If you were to buy fresh fish instead of flash frozen, it could stay on a boat for hours if not days until its then shipped on a truck and finally to the grocery store. And remember, fresh fish starts to gain bacteria immediately and although fresh sounds better, its not. Flash freezing reduces fish to -40°C to perfectly preserve it. This process ensures that the ice crystals formed within the flesh are extremely small which reduces water absorption and destruction of the fish cells. When water freezes it expands and this is what can cause the damage – however the more quickly the crystals are made the smaller they are and the better the fish quality.
Blind tasting shows that frozen fish is often preferred to fresh fish!
If the fish is flash frozen in this way it is virtually impossible to tell it apart from a fresh fish that was caught only hours before it was put on your plate. Even fish from a market can have spent days in transit and storage. So, flash frozen in many cases can be better than so called ‘fresh’ – ‘Fresh’ fish takes about a week, sometimes more, in transport before it gets to our shop shelves. All this time the fish is ‘on ice’ and, in terms of preservation, this is very different to fish being quickly flash frozen. Fish sitting on ice still degrades whereas flash freezing fish stops the degrading process entirely. If fresh fish is kept on ice from the time it is caught it has a shorter shelf life. Often by the time it reaches us in a shop it can be in your fridge for a couple of only days before it goes off!