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Wild coldwater shrimp live at depths of 200 to 500 meters in icy cold and unpolluted waters of the Arctic and Northern Atlantic Oceans. These shrimp grow very slowly and live for more than 8 years. They live on and near the ocean floor, feeding primarily on zooplankton.

Coldwater shrimp are caught in a net that fishes on the ocean bottom for 1 to 3 hours. During this fishing process, zooplankton that may be contained within the digestive tract of some shrimp causes the area near their heads to become brown or black in color. Some of the female shrimp also have mature eggs within the ovary and these shrimp can have a dark green color in the head area. The presence of dark heads in the catch is greater during some times of the year, and is not present at all during other times of the year - a result of different feeding patterns and spawning cycles of the shrimp.

Therefore, the so-called “black head” is a natural phenomenon in this wild shrimp product. The entire shrimp or only the tail section can be eaten. Wild coldwater shrimp are cooked and flash frozen to minus 26 degrees C within minutes of being brought on board these modern fishing vessels, resulting in an excellent quality product that is tasty and nutritious.

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Some wild coldwater shrimp is frozen raw for sushi restaurants. Very small sizes are also frozen raw and sold to shore-based cooking and peeling factories in various countries. However, the best way to maintain natural flavour and high quality for whole shrimp consumers is to cook and freeze shrimp as soon as possible after it is caught. Coldwater Shrimp is cooked and frozen at sea to –26C within minutes of capture, which can keep freshness and quality of Coldwater Shrimp at its maximum.

People can easily enjoy Coldwater Shrimp with its firm texture, nutrition and freshness intact if it is defrosted properly. According to blind taste tests, the taste of Coldwater Shrimp after being cooked and frozen at sea, and subsequently defrosted properly, are superior to all other alive, fresh or frozen shrimps.

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Coldwater Shrimp is cooked and frozen to at least –26C at sea, so it is ready to eat after being defrosted. Coldwater Shrimp can be thawed in its package at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Do not thaw Coldwater Shrimp by immersing it in water, especially in hot water, which will diminish its texture and flavor.

If served without further cooking, defrosted Coldwater Shrimp may be peeled and eaten (tail meat only or the whole shrimp) after being rinsed briefly with purified water or mineral water. Among many other ways to eat cooked Coldwater Shrimp is to give it a quick dip in the sauce of choice such as soy, mustard, seafood sauce, etc.

Coldwater Shrimp is a perfect natural ingredient for salads that can be paired with various fruits or vegetables. Coldwater Shrimp is a protein rich in Omega-3, while fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins. The mixture of them in a salad of choice is both nutritious and delicious.

Wild Coldwater Shrimp also works well with hot dishes, especially for soups or as an ingredient in pastas or stir fry dishes. However, the shrimp should be added just before serving so it just warms and does not ‘cook’ any further. To help the shrimp retain peak flavour and texture, one trick is to avoid defrosting it thoroughly. For example, pan-frying partially thawed Coldwater Shrimp over high-heat can help maintain the moisture inside the Coldwater shrimp and keep it fresh tasting and moist.

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Some of the shrimps sold in the Russian market are from tropical or temperate countries and are call warm-water shrimp. Shrimp sourced from these countries tend to grow fast and get to a relatively large size. Most warm-water shrimp are grown in aquaculture farms and may be fed with granulated feed containing growth enhancing substances and/or medicines to control disease. Farmed shrimp held in densely populated pens do not swim very much, which results in softer muscle tissue (arguably resulting in less flavour). It takes only 3 or 4 months for farmed shrimp to grow as large as 60-80 counts/kilogram, but the trade-off for the consumer is that they are neither as tasty nor firm textured.

Wild Coldwater Shrimp from the icy cold, pollution-free areas of the Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans consume natural plankton and grow slowly with a natural life span of about 6 years. While the long growth-period in these icy cold waters creates its smaller size, this natural environment enables this shrimp to develop its firm texture and ‘fresh’, light-salty, sweet taste that is unequalled by any other shrimp in the world.

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Wild Coldwater Shrimp Product Characteristics

  • Production date: should be sold within 9 months of its production date.
  • Glazing: a modest amount of water glaze on the product is acceptable to protect against dehydration during storage.
  • Colour: the tail shell should be reddish or pinkish or orange. Yellow, white or “washed-out” shrimp is unacceptable. Dark coloured heads is common and considered a natural biological condition associated with shrimp feeding patterns and is unrelated to product safety and quality.
  • Odor: should have a neutral or a ‘fresh’ smell; a strong or fishy smell is unacceptable.
  • Texture: when thawed, the shell should still be firm; shell that has a thin, rubbery or spongy feel is unacceptable.

Sizes of 5kg-packaged Coldwater Shrimp:

Size showed
on the box
of shrimp
per kg
Average Weight
per shrimp
per shrimp
90-120 110-120 8.69 g 2.43 cm
90+ 120-130 8.00 g 2.36 cm
120-150 130-140 7.40 g 2.29 cm
120+ 140-150 6.89 g 2.23 cm
150-180 150-160 6.45 g 2.18 cm
150+ 160-180 5.88 g 2.11 cm
180+ 180-200 5.26 g 2.02 cm