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Read more about Facts about Fish

Why choose frozen?

Frozen is fresh...

Seafood that is bought frozen was usually frozen shortly after catch. Compared to seafood that is bought fresh, which can be several days old...

Admitted: Nothing can compete with a fresh caught fish landing directly on the plate. Such privileged access to fresh raw material is only for the very few of us and among industry professionals fresh-frozen seafood is preferred over fresh just a few days after catch.

The journey from sea to table

For seafood, the journey from sea to table can be long. The journey onboard the fishing vessel, the harbor handling, transportation, processing and distribution takes time.

In some cases, what consumers perceive as fresh fish on display can be several days old. With modern fishing and processing techniques fish can be frozen shortly after catch. Freezing captures the quality by sealing in the taste of a just caught fish along with all the vitamins and nutrients, that deteriorates over time in a fresh fish[1].

A study by DTU (The Technical University of Denmark) has revealed that fresh fish is already surpassed by frozen on day two after catch.  From hereafter the deterioration in both taste and texture in fresh fish declines rapidly towards day 12, where the fish is no longer edible.

Processing is key to high quality

Correct and timely handling and processing of seafood is key to obtaining a high-quality standard. A recent study by The Technical University of Denmark and Royal Greenland documents the benefit of processing the fish rapidly and pre-rigor in a controlled environment. The study was carried out in our production setup in Maniitsoq, Greenland, where we produce our renowned Nutaaq® cod. The results confirm that the optimized processing results in a fish with a very low level of bacterial contamination. Because of this, there is also a limited bacteriological growth when the fish is thawed, resulting in a significantly longer shelf life of up to 10 days with good eating quality[2].

Less food wasted

Compared to fresh food, 47% less frozen food is wasted, a study by Sheffield Hallam University concludes[3]. A typical British household wastes 10.4% of the fresh food and 5.9% of the frozen food it purchases. The greenhouse gas emissions associated with frozen food are therefore lower, as less energy goes into the production and packaging, etc. of food that is wasted. The study furthermore examined various types of food waste and found that frozen fish products are particularly rarely wasted, with only 6% of the households ever throwing them away, compared to the 51% of households throwing frozen food away in general. In contrast, 80% of the households throw away fresh dairy and vegetable products on a weekly basis.

Enjoy seafood all year round

When you choose frozen instead of fresh, you are also buying into the advantage of less sensitivity to seasonality, as many fish and shellfish have limited harvesting seasons. With frozen seafood you are guaranteed a steady supply all year-round without the seasonal price fluctuations, that comes when choosing fresh. For restaurants and canteens, and for private households as well, steady supply of frozen seafood throughout the year simplifies menu planning and control over costs.

Great taste and texture

When evaluating fish, taste and texture are key determining factors. A study from 2017 singles out consumer preferences, where consumers were asked to compare fresh fish with flash-frozen fish. In the study from Oregon State University, flash-frozen fish received an equal or higher rating than fresh fish from the surveyed respondents. Simply being rated equal to fresh fish indicates that consumers do not have an automatic preference for fresh fish. These results run contrary to many consumer perceptions that fresh, never frozen fish rimes with higher quality[4].

[1] Fersk fisk, kvalitet og holdbarhed, DTU Aqua, 1983.

[2] Capture-based aquaculture of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua L.) in Greenland

See also

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