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Read more about Facts about Fish

Glaze? - what? why?

Glaze is a protective layer of frozen water that helps preserve the freshness of the fish - but make sure that you are not paying for the water!

Seafood is a delicate thing, and to preserve its freshness and high quality while frozen, a protective layer of water is added to the surface of frozen seafood. This ice layer is called "glaze". Glaze is a good thing, but you should make sure you are not paying for the water!

Net weight of glazed products

Frozen seafood is often glazed with a protective layer of drinking water, in order to preserve quality during transport and storage. In December 2014, new EU regulation on food information came into force, according to which the net weight excluding glaze must be declared on the packaging of frozen, glazed food products.

What is glaze?

Glaze is a protective layer of water added to the surface of frozen seafood. The amount of glaze depends on the temperature of both the product and the water, the surface area of the product, and the glazing time. Between 8 and 12 % glaze is common, but up to 40 % is seen in the marketplace.

Why is it necessary?

Glaze is an effective packaging aid for fish and seafood, to preserve the quality of the product. Packaging in a protective layer of ice minimises the risk of contact with the air and extends the durability of the product. When the rate of oxidation is reduced, rancidity is minimised. Glaze protects against minor temperature fluctuations and freezer burn during transport and storage.

How is it added?

Glaze is added by dipping or spraying the frozen seafood product with potable water.

How is the glaze quality assured?

Quality assurance of the glaze is in accordance with the guidelines created by Codex Alimentarius, which is an independent organisation under FAO/WHO with the purpose of creating global standards for food and food production. For instance, the Codex standard for frozen prawns consists of a sensory and a physical examination, defrosting and weighing, based on a carefully defined procedure with required temperature conditions and applied equipment, as well as different types of cooking, whereby the quality of the product is evaluated. Royal Greenland uses this method for its quality controls.

How is the glaze declared?

Up until now, no common declaration practice has existed, which has led to confusion. Some producers have declared the net weight of the total content of the packaging, while others have declared the net weight excluding glaze, or declared both gross and net weight on the packaging. This has led some products to seem artificially less expensive than others. New EU rules are intended to change this.

What does the new EU legislation say?

In December 2014, the EU regulation on the provision of food information to consumers came into force. This regulation states that if the food has been glazed, the declared net weight of the food must exclude the glaze.

The regulation does not specify, however, whether it is permitted to declare other weight indications in addition to the required net weight excluding glaze. It has subsequently been decided by the EU that it is not permitted to declare the gross weight, which is the weight of the entire product, including packaging, on the packaging. The EU has also decided that it is permitted to declare the net weight including glaze, in addition to the net weight excluding glaze, on the packaging of products sold to other businesses.

What does Royal Greenland do?

Royal Greenland has promoted uniformity and transparency for several years by declaring the net weight excluding glaze on all of its packaging. Royal Greenland wishes to inform about our glaze procedures, for the benefit of both customers and consumers. On branded packaging for retail, only the required net weight excluding glaze is declared. For historical reasons, and due to specific market demands, Royal Greenland declares the net weight both including and excluding glaze on Food Service items. This practice will continue because it is the company’s ambition to be a trusted partner that does not mislead its customers. 

See also

Read more about Seafood & Health