There are several reasons why the surimi – crab sticks wrapped in plastic imitation packages are snack favorite of many people. On the one hand, they look like crab, even taste like crab, but more importantly, they are more available and cheaper than the crab.
However, this imitation food is far from reality in terms of content, nutritional value and health benefits.
What’s the imitation crab meat made of
Surimi “is” minced meat “in Japanese. Surimi sticks are made by combining white fish such as Pollock (this gives thick consistency food), and a number of other ingredients that improve its taste and give the appearance of crab.
The list of ingredients for a brand of imitation crab includes the following:
Alaska Pollock, water, egg white, wheat starch, sugar, corn starch, sorbitol, king crab meat, natural and artificial flavor extracts crab, oysters, scallops, lobster and fish (salmon , anchovy, bonito, Trichiuridae), refined fish oil (Add a negligible amount of fat) (anchovy, sardine), rice wine (rice, water, koji yeast, salt), sea salt, modified tapioca starch, carrageenan, hydrolyzed soy flour Yam, corn, wheat and proteins, potassium chloride, disodium inosinate and sodium guanylate, pyrophosphate, Carmine, paprika .
Now, let’s take a look at some of the more questionable ingredients:
- Potassium Chloride
This substance is a salt substitute linked to cardiovascular distress, muscle weakness and paralysis, and gastrointestinal effects of nausea and vomiting when taken in large doses.
- disodium guanylate and inosinate
These are the flavor enhancers used in conjunction with monosodium glutamate (MSG). Manufacturers often use different forms of similar chemicals so they do not have to put MSG on the label as many people try to avoid it.
- sodium pyrophosphate
This is a crystalline food additive used to maintain the level of acidity and force the other ingredients. As quoted in a food site: “ Reports have shown that (tetra) sodium pyrophosphate is twice as toxic than table salt when ingested orally it is a source of phosphorus as a nutrient.. due to their production methods and side effects are relatively unknown, consumption should be avoided. Some people may experience stomach cramps and discomfort . “
Carmine is made from crushed cochineal beetles that are red. This substance is used to look red crab surimi and abroad. However, carmine has also been linked to allergies and a number of dietary problems.
- Other Ingredients
Other ingredients in dispute in the surimi include sorbitol, which is a form of sugar (not specified on the label either natural or synthetic origin, which could be and is, besides sugar also on the label ); carrageenan, a seaweed extract that although a natural product, still causes inflammation and gastrointestinal problems; hydrolyzed soy or MSG, etc.
“ Hydrolysis is a method of extracting the soy protein is reduced in a tank of sulfuric acid. Manufacturers mixed the resulting acidic substance with caustic to neutralize the acid content. While soy protein hydrolyzed contains most of the nutrients and health benefits of soy, when this type of soy consumed unhealthy chemical byproducts of the manufacturing process … like MSG that can lead to health problems are also consumed. De according to “Excitotoxins: the taste that kills”, the food and Drug Administration [FDA] requires food manufacturers to include MSG as an ingredient when used in the preparation of packaged foods However, FDA regulations. not require the same labeling when a food containing hydrolyzed soy protein, despite the fact that this type of soybean contains large amounts of MSG. In fact, some food manufacturers use hydrolyzed soy protein as a flavor enhancer MSG avoid labeling requirement FDA . “
- high sodium
Surimi can be low in fat, but are high in sodium -a just 2 pieces contain 20% of the recommended daily value of sodium.
- is not the best source of protein
Surimi is mostly fish, which means that provides a large amount of protein but, lentils are 3 times more protein by weight; cheese and tuna 5 times. In other words, the packets surimi lower nutritional value.
how the surimi (fake crab stick) becomes