For production and marketing reasons, some foods are not what they really seem, especially when they are mass produced, packaged and distributed in restaurants or supermarkets, one of them is imitation crab meat, or surimi.
These are foods made from a selection of ingredients combined to create something tasty, delicious, nutritious and familiar and are presented for sale, highlighting their characteristics, with good packaging and advertising.
This draws the attention of customers who end up buying these products, which are often not exactly what they seem, it is what specialists call “disguised foods”, less attractive, cheaper or generated in a laboratory.
One of them is imitation crab meat. Crab meat is delicious, and its price is high, so the food industry has managed to offer alternatives to satisfy the demand for this meat.
It is an imitation of the taste of the crab crustacean, which is sold as “crab stick” and “crab.”
The imitation crab meat is made from surimi, a product that falls into the ultra-processed category according to the NOVA food standards.
It is a product that is offered in the seafood section in supermarkets and grocery stores, it is usually sold in airtight, transparent packaging that allows the product to be seen with its characteristic crab color.
Imitation crab meat is very far from having the taste of crab, among other things because it is an industrially processed fish product called surimi made with “of fish cheap and abundant white, such as pollock, or a combination of different species thereof,” according to USA Today.
The word surimi has its origins in the combination of two Japanese words: ‘suru’ (processed) ‘mash/mi’ (meat), and is defined as myofibrillar fish protein, according to the Spanish Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
The processed fish becomes a flexible paste, surimi, which represents between a third and half of the final product, which also contains starches, water, vegetable oil, egg whites, soy, sugar and a lot of salt, according to the MIC portal. .