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Shrimp are marketed and commercialized with several issues in mind. Most shrimp are sold frozen and marketed based on their categorization of presentation, grading, colour, and uniformity. [1]

Contents

Presentation

The main forms of presentation are head on shell on (HOSO), shell on (SO), peeled tail on (PTO), peeled undeveined (PUD), peeled and deveined (P&D), and butterfly tail on (BTTY-TO). Sometimes a letter 'F' is placed in front of these abbreviation for the presentation in order to state that the shrimp comes from a farm (example: FSO - farm, shell on).

European and Asian markets prefer the HOSO presentation (which is a whole shrimp), while the American shrimp market prefers the remaining presentations.

A steamed tail-on shrimp.

Grading

Shrimp are graded according to their count per weight. HOSO shrimps are graded in units per kilogram (30/40, 40/50, 50/60, etc. pcs/kg). The standard pack is in a 2 kg box, 10 boxes into a master carton. The remaining presentations are graded in units per pound (U15, 16/20, 21/25, 26/30, 31/35, 36/40, 41/50, etc pcs/lb). The standard pack is in a 5 lb box, 10 boxes into a master carton.

The numbers in the grading code indicate maximum and minimum quantity of pieces per unit weight, with U standing for "under".

Colour

HOSO shrimp are also graded according to their colour, with A1 being the lightest colour and A5 the darkest colour. Shrimp tend to take on the colour of their habitat, so sandy ponds tend to yield an A1 colour shrimp, and shrimp ponds with plastic black liners tend to yield A5 colour shrimp. A2-A3 colour shrimp are preferred for fresh commercialization, and A4-A5 colour shrimp are preferred for cooked commercialization.

The other presentations are not usually graded by colour.

Uniformity

Another concept to grade is the uniformity. This is measured by visually selecting the ten largest and the ten smallest pieces from 1 kg of product. The two groups are then weighed separately and the weight of the large pieces group is divided by the weight of the small pieces group. The result is the uniformity factor. Normally the maximum accepted value for the uniformity factor is 1.5.

References

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