Quick frozen or Chilled fish
Important facts: There are differences in freezing methods.
Modern fish processing is based on quick-freezing of products with results that are far superior to home freezing in domestic refrigerators which freeze products slowly.
Even in a modern domestic refrigerator set on -18 C, it will take many hours to freeze food portions and fish products should never be frozen in this manner.
This slow freezing results in formation of large ice crystals that rupture cell membranes in the fish tissue and when such fish is later thawed, it will lose large amounts of tissue fluid. This fish will taste dry and also tough since it has lost the moisture that is necessary for its tenderness. The overall freshness and quality is therefore reduced significantly.
When fish is quick-frozen in modern processing it is placed at -40 C or even lower. Quick freezing of fish portions will then lead to formation of only very small crystals that are evenly distributed within the muscle cell and will not rupture fish tissue significantly so that the fish remains tender and succulent when defrosted.
Quick freezing: Quick-freezing, two basic methods:
a. Plate freezing: The fish products have been packed tightly in cartons and portions are separated by plastic sheets within the cartons. The freezing plates that are at – 40 C or lower make good contact with the cartons and freeze the product effectively in ca 2 hours.
b. Individual quick freezing (IQF) : Fillets and portions are placed on a conveyor belt going through a freezer with flowing air at – 45 C or lower. Products will freeze in ca 40 minutes and are coated with a thin layer of water immediately turning to glaze that will protect the product against drying out (freezeburn).
Many consumers think that fish kept in the refrigerators in retail stores is the only fresh fish on offer and that it is better quality than those stored in freezers.
However, this is a real misconception. Freshness means good quality, succulent, tender and tasty fish and the method of preservation is not a good indication of those quality factors.
For sure fish that is freshly caught and refrigerated properly, will be a good product for a few days. But, within 5-7 days from catch it will have lost its freshness and this is unfortunately often the case when the product reaches the consumer. The quality is often inferior after days of transport under poor conditions.
Quick freezing is the best method for preserving the quality of fish products over time. Quick frozen products are often the freshest and most reliable in regards to quality and even food safety.
These are important facts, not least for restaurants that must ensure the quality of their fish and know that it is safe and delicious upon defrosting.
All quick frozen fish sold under the OSCAR'S FISH brand is processed fresh from the fishing boats and frozen without delay. Other processing and storage methods are considered much less optimal and as a result, cannot compare with OSCAR'S FISH.
Kópavogur, Iceland 14.01 2014
Dr Alda Möller, Food scientist- Consulant for the fish industry
The idea of creating a trademark Oscar's Fish came from the name of the founder of the fish processing company, which has been running since 1980. The trademark Oscar's Fish for Icelandic seafood was registered in 2009, and OSCAR'S FISH Ltd. was founded in Latvia by the same owners.
The modern high-technology Icelandic fish processing company was founded in 1980. The company produces frozen and fresh seafood at its own specialized factory near Reykjavik.
Selected meat processing companies: slaughter, process and pack Icelandic lamb in accordance with Muslim traditions, under the strict supervision of The Muslim Association of Iceland.
The Iceland Responsible Fisheries logo indicates Icelandic origin of fish catches in Icelandic waters and responsible fisheries management.