Not so fresh: Aussie bound prawns injected with jelly

Sam Hussey

"Inject it with gelatin and throw another shrimp on the barbie"... Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

A Vietnam prawn factory has come under fire after they were filmed injecting small tiger prawns in the head, body and tail with a jelly-like substance to make them look fresher and heavier before being exported around the world.

While the jelly like substance isn't considered dangerous, consumers have labelled the practice as unethical.

“One kilogram of tiger shrimps who were injected increased their total weight from to 1.15 to 1.2kg,” according to the Vietnamese TV station that filmed the practice.

Workers can be seen injecting the tiger prawns with carboxymethyl cellulose - a gelatin which is not considered to be dangerous.

Woolworths and Coles are just some of the larger Australian chains that sell the Vietnam imported prawns.

Workers inject the prawns in the head, body and tail to make the prawns look fresher and heavier.

The practice of gel injected prawns has been around for years, with Chinese fish merchants among the biggest offenders.

“Even if what was injected was edible gel, which may not itself be harmful, who can guarantee that the process is aseptic?" one consumer said.

While governing authorities are aware of the practice, the ineffectiveness of China’s food regulation system has reportedly allowed the practice to continue over time.

Greenpeace last year released a report titled ‘Dodgy Prawns’, condemning such practice in an attempt to help customers find prawns sold without slavery, ocean destruction or toxic chemicals.

Greenpeace released a comprehensive report on which prawns were sustainable and safe to consume