When it comes to satisfying your tuna cravings, Fish For Sushi delivers—carbon monoxide-free
Posted: Jan 19 2015
Any time you shop for tuna, chances are you’re drawn to the bright red cuts that give the appearance of freshness. Shoppers traditionally determine how fresh a cut of fish or meat is by its color, but how accurate is the visual freshness test really?
Getting any kind of seafood to consumers while it still looks fresh is challenging, and tuna quickly turns an unappealing shade of brown (or chocolate, as it is called in the industry) whether it is fresh or conventionally frozen and thawed.
A few decades ago, the food industry figured out that treating fish and meat with carbon monoxide prevents discoloration and even restores the bright pink to deep red hues that we associate with top quality cuts—even when the meat is already spoiled!
Thanks to CO treatments, which are banned in Japan, Europe and Canada, consumers in the U.S. can no longer judge whether or not a piece of meat is fresh or spoiled simply by looking at it. Carbon monoxide preserves only the color of the fish, not the quality.
Here in the U.S., the F.D.A. has put carbon monoxide-treated tuna on its list of food treatments generally regarded as safe, despite the fact that carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas. Adding insult to injury, FDA approval of the treatment came one year after the European Union banned the use of carbon monoxide after a review panel determined the practice would deceive consumers and expose them to unsafe meat.
At FishForSushi.com, our tuna—and all our seafood—is carbon monoxide-free. We preserve the freshly caught purity of our yellowfin, bluefin and albacore tuna using Super Frozen technology; that means freezing at -76°C, the same method used to preserve approximately 80 percent of tuna sold in the Japanese market. Super Frozen technology maintains the freshness of the catch because the tuna is quickly bled, processed and immediately deep frozen before any naturally occurring chemical changes take place in the freshly caught fish; this is why it is said to be "fresher than fresh".
When stored in a -76°C environment and defrosted using a slow thaw method developed specifically for Super Frozen tuna, your Fish For Sushi tuna is guaranteed to provide fresh-tasting, chemical-free and nutrient packed meat that is ready to enjoy.
Since carbon monoxide treated tuna was first introduced to the seafood market in the late 1990s, most sushi bars and supermarkets in the U.S. have switched to carbon monoxide treated products. But just because a slice of tuna is brown, it does not mean it is not fresh.
According to an article in the New York Times titled, “Tuna's Red Glare? It Could Be Carbon Monoxide” by Julia Moskin, other factors also determine tuna’s color including fat content, species and cut.
According to Moskin, the finest fresh Bluefin tuna, which sells for up to $40 a pound at Tokyo's wholesale fish markets, is not a deep red but a pale pink because of the fine web of white fat that permeates the red flesh. Top-quality toro is often a brownish red.
The use of carbon monoxide in food is not new, as any barbecue or smoked salmon connoisseur can probably tell you. Wood smoke contains carbon monoxide, but the tasteless gas used by many overseas producers is highly concentrated and can measure up to100 percent carbon monoxide.
Opinion about the benefits vs. the risks of carbon-monoxide-treated tuna is sharply divided, and reveals the complex issues consumers have to wade through when it comes time to purchase fresh seafood.
While fresh tuna is vulnerable to spoiling quickly, a growing number of consumers are learning that high quality, Super Frozen tuna can be transported safely, thawed when needed, and maintain its fresh look and taste safely and without the use of chemicals. Unless you’re purchasing fresh catch on a pier in Hawaii, bright red tuna that is selling for less than $12 a pound is probably treated with carbon monoxide (although there's nothing to stop people from selling chemically treated tuna for $20 a pound if they can get away with it.)