Rigid Hygiene Control Enabled
the First HACCP Certification in the Field
Entire Quantity of Frozen Crab
Meat Exported to Japan
One marine product that comes to mind when we think about the east coast of Korea in the chilly winter time is snow crab. The chewy, fresh taste and scent of snow crabs are hidden inside their hard shells. Unfortunately, these days the snow crab meat is quite pricey because the catch of the crabs has been decreasing due to reckless overfishing. But, the good news is that there is another type of crab, similar in shape and taste, that can replace the expensive crab. That is the red snow crab.
Red Snow Crab Full of Protein and Essential Amino Acids
On the east coast of Korea, catching red snow crabs is now in full swing. The texture and taste of the crabs living at a depth of 700 to 2,000m are the best at this time of year when a cold wind blows. The crab tastes sweetish and the scent is tantalizing. The crab meat is known to be low in fat and rich in protein and essential amino acids including glutamic acid, glycine, arginine, and guanine acid. Moreover, it is believed to help digestion by stimulating the function of the intestines. It is recommended for growing young people and recovering patients. It can also be a perfect food to have with a drink as it helps detoxify alcohol.
In Sokcho, Gangwon-do, there is a company that has been processing and distributing the red crab for about 16 years since 1997. That is WooRee Fishery Co., Ltd. It first started as an exporter to Japan of chitosan, a raw material made of the shells of red snow crabs. But, in 1997, it rebuilt the facilities to become a red snow crab factory and started exporting the frozen meat of red snow crabs to Japan. At the initial stages, the crab meat was also sold to the United States and Europe but now the entire quantity is supplied only to Japan.
Thorough Control against Foreign Substances, Even Using X-RAY and Metal Detector
The importer of the crab products of WooRee Fishery is a Japanese fishery company famous for tight quality control, Tomoda Fishery Co. The company recognized the excellence of WooRee Fishery’s products and concluded a direct trading contract with it that spurred WooRee Fieshery’s exporting business. The Korean company was able to win Tomoda’s trust with their unflagging efforts to control the quality and hygiene of their products and to improve the manufacturing processes.
WooRee Fishery hires vessels to catch red snow crabs along the east coast and bring in the catch refrigerated at temperatures below 10℃. As soon as the vessels with the catch reach the shore, WooRee Fishery receives the crabs and conducts inspections for freshness and foreign substances. They then conduct microorganism tests and determine the weight. If the company finds sub-quality red snow crabs, they throw such crabs away and inform the crew of the vessel of the standards for hygiene and raw ingredients. In almost every step of the 23 steps in total, WooRee Fishery checks and controls for foreign substances. By having all the packed products pass through an x-ray and metal detector, the company is able to completely ensure that no foreign substance enters the packages.
In addition, to forestall any potential problems related to foreign substances that can arise on the production lines, WooRee made a huge investment in constructing all the facilities with stainless steel. Thanks to these efforts, WooRee was able to obtain the HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Product) certification in 2008. It was the first among the companies engaged in the crab business to obtain the HACCP certification and the achievement has helped the company build up trust in terms of hygiene. Kim Yong-jin, CEO of WooRee Fishery, stressed the importance of hygiene control saying that “no matter how good you are at producing food, just one little mistake can do harm to consumers’ health.” He added that WooRee has to make even greater efforts to control foreign substances because their products are exported to Japan where hygiene standards are very high.
Over 100 Crab Products…Gratin, Croquettes to Be Launched Soon
The number of the crab products WooRee makes with red snow crab meat surpasses 100. The marine product company has diversified product lineups by the part of the crab and size of the meat - for example flesh from the body and legs, and body-leg mixed flesh. The crab meat that is exported frozen is used in Japan for haute cuisine dishes such as sushi, in-flight meals, and luxurious salads.
In addition to currently produced crab meat, WooRee Fishery plans to launch various processed products and it is in the final stage of developing the first batch - gratin made of crab shells, crab-meat croquettes, and red snow crab extract. Mr. Kim explained that the red snow crab is a high-protein, low-calorie food whose taste and nutrients are well balanced. He continued that WooRee will put more efforts into steadily developing safer and better food products.
Inquiries WooRee Fishery Co., Ltd.
Park Sung Eun firstname.lastname@example.org
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