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'Frozen' fish leaves 'fresh' out in the cold

Frozen fish deserves the same reputation for quality and nutrition as frozen peas, according to repeated taste tests by FASFA (Frozen at Sea Fillet Association).

FASFA regularly conducts blind taste tests that are judged by catering and fast food peers – and every year frozen-at-sea fillets comes out on top.

The most recent taste test was carried out earlier this year at the Fast Food Fair, Donington. Frozen-at-sea fillets were the runaway winners 15-to-one compared to 'fresh' product.

Tim Cartwright-Taylor, chairman of FASFA, says: "It's generally accepted that you cannot get much better than frozen peas when it comes to taste and quality but frozen fish struggles to gain the same kudos as its 'fresh' counterpart.

"We regularly test a random audience of industry professionals and every year frozen fish gets the thumbs up for taste and quality. When the fish is caught it is cleaned, filleted and frozen on the trawlers within four hours, which locks-in the freshness to guarantee a beautiful taste when it reaches the plate."

Visitors to the FASFA stand at the Fast Food Fair were invited to blind taste a sample of frozen-at-sea cod supplied by Seagold and compare it with a sample of 'fresh' fish that had been supplied by a respected merchant the previous day.

All the fish was cooked in a microwave for the same period of time with no seasoning, labels or accompanying information.

Visitors marked a voting card to highlight their preference; 15 favoured the frozen-at-sea product and only one the 'fresh' product.

Tim adds: "We've run these simple tests every year for eight years and the 'frozen' product always wins out.”

FASFA is a trade organisation representing trawler owners and distributors of frozen-at-sea (FAS) filleted fish from the UK, Norway, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Spain, Russia and Greenland. FASFA trawler members fish the carefully managed North Atlantic and Barents Sea waters and supply 90 per cent of the UK's fish and chip shops.

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