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Top honours at Seafood Excellence Global Awards. Viciunai Group of Belgium and Kingfish Zeeland BV of the Netherlands won the top prizes in the 2019 Seafood Excellence Global awards at Seafood Expo Global, the world’s largest and most prestigious seafood event. The winners were selected from a field of 37 finalists and were announced yesterday evening at a special Seafood Excellence Global awards reception. The competition recognises the best products exhibited at Seafood Expo Global.

The top award for Best Retail Product was presented to Viciunai Group for its entry, Surimi Noodles Wok Style, a convenient meal in its own lunch box filled with surimi noodles, Chinese vegetables and a Korean glaze sauce. The neutral-flavoured noodles are made from Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)-certified Alaska pollock, Pacific whiting or hoki surimi. The judges noted that in addition to its great taste, the product responds to many of today’s most influential seafood markets trends, including high protein/low carbohydrate and gluten-free diets, clean label surimi seafood, sustainability certifications, and ready meals on the go.

Kingfish Zeeland BV won the grand prize for Best HORECA (hotel/restaurant/catering) Product for its Dutch Yellowtail. Also known as hiramasa or kingfish, the product is farmed using a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) without antibiotics and is certified by both the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP). The premium fish can be served raw in sashimi and sushi, or grilled or smoked as a sustainable alternative to tuna and swordfish. The judges particularly noted the rich flavour and high quality of the product.

In addition to the grand prizes, the judges also gave four special awards:

GlobeXplore – Algae of France was presented the Seafood Excellence Global special award for Health & Nutrition for its Guacamole with Fresh Spirulina. This ready-to-eat guacamole is the first product made with fresh spirulina. The high levels of vitamin B12, iron, and protein naturally found in spirulina are preserved by treating the product using high pressure processing (HPP). The spirulina also provides rich umami flavour and a beautiful natural green colour.

The Seafood Excellence Global special prize for Convenience was given to Golden Fresh Sdn Bhd of Malaysia for its Prawn in Hor Mok Thai Coconut Sauce. The prawns and sauce are packed in individual portion bags that can be quickly microwaved without thawing and served with zero waste. The product allows any foodservice operation to serve authentic Thai flavours with little labour.

St. James Smokehouse (Scotland) Ltd. of the United Kingdom was presented the Seafood Excellence Global special award for Retail Packaging for its product Saint Pure Salmon. Fresh Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC)-certified sushi grade Atlantic salmon is cured with sea salt and brown sugar and smoked over Florida orange and grapefruit wood giving it a light fruity smoke profile. For added convenience the product is sliced vertically sashimi-style. The elegant contemporary black package features a soft touch finish and attractive and informative infographics designed to attract a younger demographic.

Surimi Noodles Wok Style from Viciunai Group was also awarded the Seafood Excellence Global special award for Innovation. This unique ready-meal introduces a new category of seafood products in a smart package that provides convenience for people on the go. The phosphate-free, MSC-certified surimi noodles are packed separately from the Korean glaze sauce in a two-tiered cup, so that they can be microwaved then combined as the consumer likes.

The Seafood Excellence Award for Best Seafood Product Line was not presented this year due to a lack of entries in the category.

The winners of the 2019 Seafood Excellence Global awards were chosen from a field of 37 finalists representing 12 countries. The winners and finalists are on display in Hall 8, Stand 4430 at Seafood Expo Global and Seafood Processing Global, which runs now through May 9.

The judges for the 2019 Seafood Excellence Global competition were Debby Verheyen, Seafood and Frozen Food Coordinator for Ahold Delhaize in Belgium; Damien Castagnier, Buyer of Fruits, Vegetables and Seafood for Monoprix in France; Lubomir Brandejs, Seafood Category Manager for Globus in the Czech Republic; Luca Grosoli, Food Buyer for Sodexo in Italy; and Arnaud Lasplaces, Fish and Seafood Manager for Classic Fine Foods in Hong Kong. Ms. Verheyen served as chair of the jury.

The Seafood Excellence Global finalists were judged on taste and overall eating experience, packaging, marketability, convenience, nutritional value, and innovation. The judges’ scores were verified by the accounting firm of Ernst & Young.