Four Viciunai Group’s products at the prestigious Seafood Excellence Global Awards

Four Viciunai Group’s products at the prestigious Seafood Excellence Global Awards

The world’s largest seafood industry exhibition, Seafood Expo Global, will be held in Brussels in late April for the 28th time. It has become a tradition to close the event by holding Oscars-like industry awards to honour that year’s products of the highest quality, innovative solutions and nutritional value.

Just like every year, conceptual products developed by Viciunai Group’s product developers and technologists stand for Seafood Excellence Global Election’s finale.

May win for the fourth consecutive year

The Viciunai Group has been participating in the event for almost two decades and triumphed in Brussels four times, including the last three consecutive years. In 2002, snow crab, which to this day is one of the most popular products, has earned the company the most important award of the global seafood industry. Meanwhile, in 2017, 2018 and 2019, the winners were Sea Pearls nips, surimi lasagne sheets and Asian Wok noodles, winning the jury experts’ appreciation in the Best Retail Product and Innovation categories.

This year, our product developers kept up the pace and presented 4 innovations to the competition. This year’s products are hot smoked salmon fillet with granola, fried saithe in beetroot crumbs, freeze-dried surimi pieces, and pink salmon with freeze-dried raspberries.

Should one of the products win in any of the 7 categories this year, Viciunai Group would become the world’s first manufacturer to have claimed the Seafood Excellence Global trophy for four years in a row.

According to Loreta Stonkiene, Head of Product and Technology Development at Viciunai Group, the products-nominees were inspired by modern ecology and healthy eating trends.

“Consumer habits have been changing rapidly in recent years. We sense the consumer’s appreciation for the manufacturers’ contribution to environmental protection, natural ingredients and sustainable packaging. The market itself dictates these and other quality criteria are dictated, so it is important to take them into consideration when designing products for various industry competitions and for the general public,” Ms Stonkiene said.

Modern technologies to the rescue

All of the Viciunai Group’s products for the Seafood Excellence Global have the most desirable food qualities listed by the Head of Product Development. For example, the eggs used in the production of freeze-dried surimi pieces were laid by hens kept on litter in better conditions. Basis for all the products is fish that was caught in sustainable fisheries in accordance with international standards for sustainable fisheries.

Ecology was taken into account when choosing the packaging as well. Let us take the salmon with granola for example. It is served in an easily recyclable cardboard box, and the packaging of fried saithe is made of already recycled cardboard from wastepaper.

Delicious chestnut-coloured fried cod stands out not only because of its environmentally friendly packaging but also because of the modern cooking technology known to the chefs as Sous Vide. It is a French method of cooking in which food is placed in a vacuum pouch, air from the pouch is extracted and the edges are sealed. The pouch is then immersed in a water bath to cook in an extremely low temperature for a long period of time (sometimes up to 72 hours).

“Although the Sous Vide technology takes quite a lot of time, it has many benefits. Slowly building up the heat allows the fish to cook evenly, its flavour and texture become more prominent, and, most importantly, it does not lose any valuable nutrients and vitamins. Gastronomy does not have any other similar cooking methods to achieve such a perfect result,” Ms Stonkiene said, listing the benefits of vacuum-cooked products.

All of the products presented for the competition are pre-made for consumption. The products were made with healthy seasonings and high-quality ingredients. The Seafood Excellence Global jury experts’ opinion on the products will be revealed in a little over a month, on April 22.