Using science to improve the taste of frozen lobster

Tuesday, 14 January, 2020

Using science to improve the taste of frozen lobster

Researchers from St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, Canada, have examined how to keep lobster tasting fresh after it has been frozen. Dr Shah Razul, an Assistant Professor in the university’s department of Chemistry, has studied the effects of freezing on food products, and how to prevent the damage caused by water freezing on biological materials.

Researchers began the investigation at the molecular level, with the focus of the research on compounds called Cryoprotectants (CPAS) that protect biological structures from damage when ice forms. After receiving a grant from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation John R. Evans Leaders Fund, and from Research Nova Scotia (RNS), Razul examined the freezing processes and stability of frozen lobster during storage, using a differential scanning calorimeter (DSC), a UV-VIS spectrophotometer and ultra-low-temperature freezers.

“Cryoprotectants are all-natural compounds, some of them are already found in lobster. I’m researching how they can be tuned to better preserve frozen lobster and create a higher-quality product for consumers,” Razul said.

Razul’s team of researchers has since tuned CPAS for cooked frozen lobster, with positive results. The next phase of the study will involve attempting to produce high-quality cryopreserved raw lobster meat, and eventually whole lobster. In future, the research findings could apply to more species of seafood, and possibly other types of food.

“Imagine if we were able to take a raw lobster and cryopreserve it so you don’t have to ship the lobster with the water. The savings for companies would be huge,” Razul said.

Image credit: © Raths

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