Fresh, Local is Preferred

NORTH CAROLINA FISHERIES

A 2007 consumer study validated what many North Carolina coastal residents already know – fresh, wild-caught shrimp are more appealing than their frozen, imported cousins.

When asked which they preferred, 60 percent of consumers identified the wild-caught shrimp over the farm-raised shrimp.

Scientists at North Carolina State University’s Sensory Service Center conducted a comparative evaluation of perceived differences and preferences by consumers to two kinds of shrimp:

  • 36 to 40 count per pound, farm-raised, frozen white shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) from Ecuador, and
  • 36 to 40 count per pound, fresh, chilled, wild-caught shrimp (Litopenaeus setiferus) from Carteret County along North Carolina’s central coastal region.

Panelists in the study were presented shrimp but not told beforehand what type they were eating.

Results showed 60 percent of panelists preferred the wild-caught shrimp over the farm-raised imports.  Panelists perceived differences in sweetness and full flavor of the wild-caught shrimp.

The study supports recent efforts by local fishermen organizations to establish local, high-end niche markets for wild-caught shrimp, in part, because of its distinctive flavor.

Contributed by Barry Nash

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