Taiwan: An Industry First and a Steady Source of Income for Fishermen: Individually Frozen and Glazed Sakura Shrimp

The AGTECH Program was initiated in 2007 by the Council of Agriculture (COA) under the Executive Yuan, and it has already subsidized many companies for various successful R&D achievements and subsequent transition to commercialization. Among these companies is Fortune Life Enterprise Co., Ltd., which conducted the Development of Individual Quick Freezing (IQF) Technology for Small Shrimp through Micro-glazing and Vibration Module Program from 2017 to 2018, resulting in the successful completion of Individual Freezing and Glazing (IFG) technology for automated production of small-size catches such as sakura shrimp (Sergestes lucens), Taiwan mauxia shrimp (Acetes intermedius), and whitebait. The success of this technology has earned the company international and domestic purchasing orders since the end of 2018, which in turn led to Fortune Life signing procurement contracts for sakura shrimps with suppliers from Dongkang, thus providing a steady source of income to local fishermen. In the long run, marketing campaigns in niche markets are being studied in order to raise the international competitiveness for Taiwan’s frozen aqua-product.

The COA pointed out that Taiwan’s sakura shrimp population is found in coastal areas near Yilan’s Toucheng and Pingdong’s Dongkang from November to May of the following year. Its coloration and flavor are well-loved by both Taiwanese and Japanese consumers alike. However, Japanese consumers often demand that the physical integrity of a product must be intact; therefore, damaged sakura shrimps are considered sub-par merchandise and sold at a lower price. Although conventional pouch-freezing method is somewhat effective in keeping products fresh, but it also causes shrimps to stick together and form lumps or blocks. This presents a major hassle whenever only a small portion is needed for cooking; consumers must thaw the whole block in order to obtain the desired quantity. This repetitive thawing process is not only time consuming but also result in the loss of flavor and freshness.

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