A few years ago it appeared in the super frozen zone, in television commercials or next to fresh food in the refrigerators of the large surfaces, a food that is known as surimi and that we started knowing as crab sticks. Today, many people include it in their diet or in their healthy diet but what is this food? It's healthy? Take note of everything related to surimi if you usually consume it.
A food of Japanese origin
Surimi is born in Japan when fishermen invent a preparation to give way to species with low demand and take advantage of fish remains. This elaboration gave rise to a paste that was called kamaboko and is millenary. It is in 1960 when the industry begins to process the so-called surimi for sale and it is Nishitani Tosuke of the Hokkaido Experimental Fisheries Institute of Japan that uses it to revitalize the Japanese fishing industry.
It is in the 70s when the surimi begins to be marketed internationally, trying to imitate the crab meat, for this to the tasteless fish paste add ingredients such as large amounts of salt, dyes, fat, sugar, preservatives …
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What is surimi formed from?
Originally, fish fillets crumbled and rinsed repeatedly to form a jelly paste to which added ingredients such as egg white, starch, sugar, salt, soy or vegetable oil. Later they were adding more preservatives and additives to be able to market the surimi worldwide.
Although the origin of fish paste is not known for sure, it is known that many species participate in this type of elaboration such as traces of hake, mackerel, cod, molluscs, pollock, croaker or flounder. This is how you try to imitate quality products such as lobster tail making low-cost protein.
Is it healthy to consume surimi?
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, surimi contains about 76% water, 15% protein 0.9% fat, 6.85% carbohydrate and 0.03% cholesterol. It has been sold to us as an easily digestible, low fat and quality protein, perfect to include in a weight loss diet (This is how the commercials of the product are focused), however if you read the ingredients of your crab sticks, lobster tails, gulas (yes, the gulas are surimi), sea trunks, tallarimis or the name they want to put to the surimi , you can be surprised and much.
It does not stop being an ultraprocessed food and in that process of elaboration the properties of the fish diminish a lot. Its composition is uncertain because you will see ‘fish’ among its ingredients, you will not know which one or mixture of which you are consuming, although they are usually remains of fish such as Alaskan pollock, molluscs, panga or Pacific whiting, but you will also see that The percentage in most cases does not reach 50% of the product, what is the other 50% of your surimi? Well, starches, refined flours, sugar, soy protein, aromas, refined oils, monosodium glutamate, artificial colors, preservatives … quantities and ingredients will vary depending on the brand.
Definitely, Surimi is fishy what York ham or meat turkey meat, an ultraprocessed food that has many ingredients that are not recommended to enhance its flavor and even arouse appetite like monosodium glutamate. But, as in everything, the dose makes the poison, so, although it is not the most recommended food in the world, consuming it on some occasion will not harm you, though, read its ingredients well before acquiring it. Even so Why add a substitute loaded with little or no healthy ingredients to your dishes if there are economic, healthy and higher nutritional value alternatives? It is true that it can be a tempting product like any ultraprocessed but choose what type of food you want to continue to be clear about what you are including in your diet and especially reading the labels very well.