Chinese authorities seize shrimps injected with gelatin from local market
Vendor tells reporter the practice, which makes shrimps appear healthier, is not uncommon
Food safety authorities have seized shrimps injected with gelatin from a wet market in southern China.
Gelatin was found in three batches of frozen shrimps in a wet market in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, in recent days, according to Guangdong Satellite TV.
The shrimps’ bodies and head were glued together by edible gelatin, which is often used to make jellies and other desserts. Experts were quoted in the report as saying the suppliers injected the gelatin to make the shrimps appear healthier or to cover up rotten meat.
The gelatin, which is mostly transparent but has a slight yellow tint, is noticeable once the shrimps are cooked. If one pinches the shrimp around the base of its head, the gelatin, which is very elastic in texture, falls off.
The authority said that gelatin made up about 1 per cent of each shrimp’s body weight.
The report said when a reporter first approached a merchant at the wet market who was selling the adulterated shrimp, the merchant said that the practice is not uncommon.
The merchant was quoted as saying, “This is like injecting water into beef. Why would you even ask?”
Guo Yuhua, a director at the Guangdong Food and Drug Administration, said although a spectroscopy test showed the added substance was gelatin, another inspection report indicated it could also be agar - a gelatinous substance obtained from certain seaweeds. He said the substance was definitely added to the shrimps.
The report caused a stir online, with one Weibo user writing, “These amoral Chinese merchants can’t even spare the little shrimps. What is there left for Chinese people to eat?”