Super-Frozen Technology: The Answer to Fresh, Healthy and Safe Sushi and Sashimi
Posted: Apr 06 2015
Sushi is fast becoming a favorite make-at-home meal. It’s easy, loaded with protein and nutrients, and everyone loves it. Whether you’ve been preparing and serving sushi for years or you’re attempting it for the first time, there’s no reason your family can’t enjoy this simple, tasty dish throughout the spring and summer.
One question we’re asked frequently at Fish For Sushi is how to be sure the tuna, salmon or other ingredients you choose for your family’s meals are safe to eat raw.
First of all, the term “sushi-grade” is often used to suggest that the sashimi you’re buying comes with a guarantee of freshness. However, in the U.S., there’s no regulation governing the use of the designation, which means it can actually be used to describe pretty much anything. Thankfully, most sashimi vendors aren’t looking to make their customers sick, so they only apply “sushi-grade” labeling only to their freshest cuts.
Assuming the sushi you select actually is fresh, it still doesn’t mean the fish is safe to eat raw. Certain types of fish contain parasites that really must to destroyed before you can safely eat it—salmon is a good example of a particularly risky fish to serve raw. In addition, there is always the potential for cross-contamination, which can happen when sushi-grade fish is prepped on the same cutting board or with the same knife, or even handled with the same gloves as fish that is not sushi grade.
The FDA has a long-standing requirement that fish sold to be consumed raw must be frozen first to kill parasites; however, this rule is often ignored since it is not clear whether the wholesaler or the buyer is responsible to perform the actual freezing. The New York Department of Health is now deliberating whether to implement new regulations dictating that all raw fish used for sushi and ceviche be frozen to reduce the risk of parasite contamination and transmission.
For obvious reasons, this notion is being met with some resistance from many restaurants and fishmongers who make top dollar selling fresh (never frozen) sushi and sashimi dishes in their establishments.
Oddly, many people seem to forget the fact that 10 years ago, 50 to 60 percent of fish used for sushi was frozen—some of it for up to two years. Back then, some of the new law’s biggest critics claimed that you couldn’t taste the difference between fresh and frozen!
Naturally, we all love our sushi best when the fish is fresh, so the notion of freezing it conventionally is not one that most sushi-lovers are willing to entertain. But we have found the perfect solution in super-frozen technology.
The process of super freezing was discovered by the medical industry in the late 1960’s and is used by blood banks, fertility clinics and labs around the world, particularly in Japan, where 80% of Tuna is super frozen. Super freezing stops the natural breakdown that begins the moment the fish is caught. Here’s how it works –
The process begins on a specialized tuna boat, far out at sea. Once the tuna is caught, it is quickly gilled and gutted, then immediately placed in the boat’s super freezers, where it is chilled to a core ultra low temperature (ULT) of -76ºF, the Eutectic Point or EP. The super-frozen process kills microbes and bacteria while preserving the fish’s fresh-caught taste, vibrant red color and succulent appearance.
Once a customer orders their top quality super-frozen sashimi, it is vacuum-sealed and shipped at the precise temperature to ensure freshness upon delivery. We also send instructions for properly defrosting your super-frozen tuna. Your fish for sashimi very likely will arrives within 48 hours, super-frozen, ready to defrost and eat.
Super-frozen technology eliminates the need to destroy the fish in order to keep it safe you’d never know it wasn’t just caught and magically transported to your kitchen moments later. Fish for Sushi maintains all of its seafood inventory in Level 3 (highest level) SQF facilities.
Ask any sushi connoisseur and they’ll tell you, the appeal of sushi begins with the freshness of its fish—after all, a craving for a bright pink serving of Toro or a spicy yellowtail roll is not going to be satisfied if the fish has been freeze-dried or nuked to an unrecognizable specimen, all in the name of safety.
From catch to kitchen, Fish For Sushi delivers top quality tuna whose freshness is evident in the full bodied succulence of the cut and the vibrant, deep red color the tuna regains upon defrosting - the natural color of freshly caught tuna.