Scientific research of nutritional and biological values of surimi “Snow Crab”

The Food Institute of Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) conducted the research of the digestive, nutritional and biological values of “Snow Crab” surimi product. The scientists claim that the surimi proteins contained in this product have high biological value and are easily digested.
The protein quality research involved the study of the nature of its digestion and absorption by the human body, and whether it contains indispensable amino acids in the quantities meeting the human needs. Biological value of food products used depends on the quantities of these elements.
“Our research revealed that “Snow Crab” is a low-calorie and protein-rich product. The samples taken from different production batches were characterised by a stable protein and amino acid composition and properties. This product contains all indispensable amino acids. The surimi proteins have a high biological value with the expected absorption rate higher than 70 per cent,” stated Dr Gitana Alenčikienė, the scientist at the KTU Food Institute.
The surimi research was conducted by taking samples from five different batches of this product at different times. This allowed to prevent fluctuation of indicators due to different properties of the raw materials or environmental conditions, and to obtain reliable results.
According to Loreta Stonkienė, the Product Development Manager at Vičiūnai Group, surimi is a cleaned boneless fish flesh minced until the consistency of paste is obtained with subsequent removal of fat. The surimi sticks made of such white fish as pike, cod or sardines are thermally processed and, therefore, are sold ready-to-eat.
“The scientific research and cooperation with scientists are very important both for the development of new products and evaluation of properties of products already available on the market. This particular research involved testing of the nutritional value and health properties of one of our main surimi products – “Snow Crab”. We wanted to support our health statements on this product by scientific findings.
Public attention to nutrition is growing steadily, therefore, we need to be certain of the value of our products and be able to inform our consumers about it,” added Stonkienė. According to her, the advanced scientific studies not only allow providing objective information about specific nutritional properties to consumers, but in certain cases, research results also allow improving the product under consideration. High quality surimi products contain 30-50 per cent of fish. The surimi production process involves elimination of fat and water; therefore, surimi contains more pure fish protein than even fish itself. Production of 1 kg of surimi required the use of 3-4 kg of fish. At the same time, surimi is a low-calorie product.
The surimi products still contain the same healthy nutrients present in fish, such as magnesium, vitamin B12, phosphorus or selenium.