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What is Imitation Crab?

Even if you didn't realize it, you might have eaten imitation crab. Over the past few decades, this crab alternative has become popular, often found in seafood salads, crab cakes, and California sushi rolls.


In short, imitation crab is processed fish meat-in fact, it is sometimes referred to as "ocean hot dog." However, you may still want to know what it is made of and whether it is healthy.


Ⅰ. What is shredded imitation crab meat?


The shredded imitation crab meat is made from surimi-fish meat has been deboned, washed to remove fat and excess debris, and then chopped into a paste. This paste is mixed with other ingredients, then heated and pressed into a shape that mimics crab meat.


Although the imitation crabmeat is made from seafood, it usually does not contain crab. In addition to a small amount, crab extract for seasoning is sometimes added.


Pollock has a mild color and smell and is usually used to make surimi. This fish is also used to make fish sticks and other breaded fish products.


The packaging of crab sticks for sale may be labeled "imitation crab", "crab-flavored seafood" or "surimi seafood", but they must comply with government labeling regulations. In Japan, surimi-type seafood is often called kamabo.


On restaurant menus, imitation crabmeat shreds may be spelled "krab" to indicate that it is fake.


Ⅱ. Shredded imitation crab meat is not as nutritious as real crab


Compared with imitation crabmeat, the various nutrients of real crabs are significantly higher. Although the calories of the two are similar, 61% of imitation crab calories come from carbohydrates, while 85% of Alaskan king crab calories come from protein, not carbohydrates.


If you want to increase protein intake and reduce carbohydrate intake. For example, if you adopt a low-carbohydrate or ketogenic diet, real crabs are more suitable.


Compared with imitation crabs, real crabs have significantly higher levels of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, zinc and selenium. This is partly because some nutrients are washed away during the processing of surimi.


On the other hand, real crabs tend to have higher sodium content than imitation crabs, although both have contributed greatly to the daily limit of 2,300 mg. Salt is usually added to real crabs and imitation crabs, although the amount varies from brand to brand.


Finally, the omega-3 fatty acid content of real crabs is usually higher than that of imitation crabs. Although it is possible to add omega-3 rich oil to imitation crabs that sell crab sticks, this is not common.


Ⅲ. Shredded imitation crab meat is composed of multiple ingredients


The main ingredient of imitation crabmeat is surimi, which generally accounts for 35-50% of the weight of the product.


The other main ingredients of imitation crab are:


1. Water: It is usually the second most abundant ingredient in imitation crabs. Water is needed to obtain the correct texture and control the cost of the product.


2. Starch: potato, wheat, corn or tapioca starch is usually used to harden surimi and make it freezeable. However, if too much starch is used in order to reduce costs, the product will become sticky and soft.


3. Protein: Egg white protein is the most common, but other proteins, such as soy, can also be used. These can increase the protein content of the imitation crab and improve its texture, color and gloss.


4. Sugar and Sorbitol: These help the product to withstand freezing and thawing. They also contributed a little sweetness.


5. Vegetable oil: Sunflower oil, soybean oil or other vegetable oils are sometimes used to improve texture, color retention and extend shelf life.


6. Salt (sodium chloride): In addition to adding flavor, salt also helps the surimi form a firm gel. Potassium chloride has the same function and can replace certain salts.


After mixing these ingredients with preservatives and other additives. Cook the mixture of snow crab meat for sale and press it into the desired shape. And vacuum sealed and pasteurized to kill potentially harmful bacteria.


The above is the relevant knowledge of shredded imitation crab meat, in some respects, it is also a good choice.

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