I love seafood sticks, I’ve just eaten about ten of them. I thought you might like to know how they are made though. It’s nasty.
Basically you get some white fish trimmings such as Coley, Pollock, or Cod and you beat the shit out of it until it becomes a gelatinous goo. You then add some egg white, flavourings, preservatives, soy protein, starch, oil and sugar and then cure it. This is called ‘surimi’. You then have to flavour it because it tastes of exactly nothing.
The curing process involves heating it up to polymerise the myosin in the fish flesh. Some fish is unsuitable for this such as whiting, which is where the starch comes into play. In the 70s and 80s before the outbreak of BSE, a cow’s blood was typically used to set the fish. Now they tend to use transglutaminase which is an enzyme, to set the myosin. The pink colouring that you see on the edge of the sticks is most commonly artificial but sometimes it is achieved from grinding up shellfish exoskeletons like those on cooked prawns or crayfish.
Doesn’t that sound tasty? Apparently the art of surimi making dates back 900 years ago to somewhere in East Asia. Industrialisation was realised in around 1960.
Seafood sticks rock!