When it comes to fish, frozen is almost always ‘fresher than fresh’

“Fresh” is a powerful adjective and most chefs and consumers pay a premium for fresh fish.  But is fresh fish really superior to frozen?

Consider these facts: The quality of fish begins to deteriorate immediately after harvest.  Most fresh fish spends one to two weeks in the cold chain before it reaches your plate. Wild caught seafood can easily be 7-10 days old by the time it reaches the harbor; 2-6 days traveling to and from the fishing grounds, 3-5 days fishing, plus another 2-4 days to be processed and distributed. If the demand is lethargic or the price isn't right, the seafood waits. At the store, it may be several more days before it is purchased. Hopefully your refrigerator isn’t adding to the problem, but in many busy homes it may well be.

In contrast, modern freezing methods retain quality, nutritional benefits and seals in the fresh flavor until you’re ready to cook.

Blind Taste Tests

Taste tests have shown that if fish is frozen immediately after harvest using modern techniques trained panelists generally prefer it to fresh fish which is 3 or more days old. For most of us, it impossible to tell frozen fish apart from  fresh fish that was caught only hours before!

The Australis Approach

We’ve put our heart and soul into growing the best fish possible and we carry that philosophy through our processing and freezing process. Our frozen barramundi are usually processed within 4 hours of harvest and frozen using state-of-the-art Japanese belt freezing systems that takes less than 10 minutes to chill the fillets to 30°F below zero. The fillets are then dipped in water to provide additional protection against dehydration and individually vacuum packed.  

Frozen fish is Green

“Go local. Eat Organic. Buy Fresh." Those food mantras continue to make waves among environmentally conscious consumers. But – as is often the case in these climate-conscious times – if the motivation is to truly make our diets more earth-friendly, then perhaps we need a new mantra: Buy frozen.

Several years ago, a group of economists teamed up to understand how sustainable food systems could be developed to feed nine billion people. They compared wild and farmed salmon and came to a rather surprising conclusion: “When it comes to salmon, the question of organic versus conventional and wild versus farmed matter less than whether the fish is frozen or fresh.” Fillets that are flown from far away lands add an enormous climate burden that swamps the potential benefits of organic farming or sustainable fishing.  Considering that over two-thirds of the seafood consumed in the US is imported, choosing frozen may be one of the best ways to reduce the carbon footprint of your diet.  For more information on this study, see ecotrust study.

Handling tips

“Fast In, Slow Out” is the best way to maximize the quality of frozen seafood. We freeze fast which eliminates the formation of ice crystals. At home, the best method of defrosting fish is to cut the vacuum pack, place the opened pack on a plate in your refrigerator for 24 hours before cooking. If you’re in a hurry, defrost in cold water and give one of our quick and easy recipes a try!

Fresh vs Frozen Infographic

All the benefits of frozen seafood -- at-a-glance

"Fish should swim, not fly. Container ships are by far the most efficient and carbon-friendly way to transport food" 

  - EcoTrust

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