Irish shellfish processor signs up to Prawnfresh

August 30, 2010 12:00

Waterford shellfish processor Erin Isle Seafood Ltd has become the latest Irish company to switch from sodium metabisulphite to the more effective Prawnfresh treatment for prawns, reports with reference to Catch PR Ltd.

Increasing numbers of Irish prawn (Nephrops) processors and fishermen are moving to sulphite free alternatives to delay the onset of ‘blackspot' or melanosis in prawns.

Whilst sodium metabisulphite has long been used as a traditional treatment, it is now becoming recognised that using approved alternative treatments such as Prawnfresh provides greatly enhanced performance at preventing blackspot, giving fishermen and processors a crucial marketing advantage.

Melanotic blackening is a natural process that discolours the shell after harvesting. Although the condition is harmless, it does affect the appearance of the prawns, which in turn can make marketing difficult and increases the reject rate.

Ronan Forde, director of Erin Isle Seafood, which is based in Ring, Co. Waterford, says: "Daily landings in smaller quantities make it extremely important to us that prawns are handled carefully and correctly to maintain quality prior to delivery.

"Using Prawnfresh is an important factor in helping us deliver a premium product. It has proven to be of great benefit to us and our customers."

Independent research has shown that prawns treated with Prawnfresh have a longer shelf life before melanosis sets in compared with shellfish dipped in sodium metabisulphite.

If used incorrectly, there is the additional problem of sodium metabisulphite having the potential to cause health problems in processing operatives. Sodium metabisulphite is also highly corrosive and can cause damage to expensive processing plant and equipment.

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