Editor’s picks: Crabmeat innovation
On vacation this week? Too hectic at work to check out SeafoodSource? Here’s a rundown of this week’s can’t-miss news stories, market reports and commentaries:
• This week, SeafoodSource editors put five seafood professionals — a conservationist, a chef, two retailers and a food toxicologist/educator — on the spot for the Q&A column. Nicki Holmyard talked to SeaWeb’s Melanie Siggs about her new leadership role at Seafood Choices Alliance. Christine Blank chatted with David Jarvis, research and development chef for Pappas Restaurants, about menu diversity at the Houston company’s 10 brands. Lindsey Partos caught up with Andrew Bassford, director of operations for Dutch retailer/wholesaler Fishes, who explained his passion for sustainable seafood and his company’s seven-year relationship with the Marine Stewardship Council. Neil Ray asked Central Retail spokesperson Khun Sukiet Kittitammachote what’s behind the Thai retailer’s impressive seafood departments. And, finally, I had an enlightening conversation with Dr. Charles Santerre, a food toxicology professor at Purdue University, who detailed the challenge of getting pregnant and nursing women to eat more seafood.
• Last year, I talked to Gabe Dough, an MBA student at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., and founder of Shure Foods, about his work on a new way to process and market fresh crabmeat. On Tuesday, he officially unveiled his innovation — a mechanism for extracting crabmeat from the shell without cooking it, and for tweaking the texture and consistency of fresh crabmeat so it can be formulated into medallions, nuggets or patties. I caught up with Dough, who’s on the road in search of industry partners and customers, on Wednesday. “New crabmeat-extraction mechanism developed” was by far this week’s most read story on SeafoodSource.
• This week’s second most popular story was actually a market report. In “Canadian coldwater shrimp in need of buyers,” SeafoodSource contributing editor Mercedes Grandin described the conundrum Atlantic Canada’s shrimp industry is in. A tough global economic climate and a depreciated Canadian dollar are resulting in unfavorable returns for Canadian shrimpers and processors but favorable prices for seafood buyers worldwide.
• Perhaps no seafood species this year has received more attention from the environmental camp and mainstream media than bluefin tuna, due to overfishing concerns. The European Union is contemplating supporting a proposal to list Atlantic bluefin tuna on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which would effectively ban international trade of the species. Is aquaculture the answer? It just may be, and now European scientists are one step closer to commercializing bluefin tuna farming, as Partos explained in “Bluefin tuna farming project advances” on Monday.
• I distinctly recall my first visit to Wahoo’s Fish Taco. Following the National Fisheries Institute’s 2002 annual meeting, I popped into the Pasadena, Calif., location and, after devouring two fish tacos in three minutes, wished there was a Wahoo’s at home here in Portland, Maine. Now my wish may come true. On Tuesday, the trendy fast-casual chain unveiled its plans to triple in size over the next five years, adding more than 100 franchise restaurants nationwide.