They’re called scallops but some sold in grocery stores are more than 85 percent water
BOSTON -- September 24, 2012 -- Plump, juicy scallops are one of the most popular seafoods in the United States, with millions sold annually at prices that can top $15 a pound.
But consumers routinely pay for excess water when they buy the shellfish, according to a Boston Globe investigation of moisture content in scallops collected from 21 Massachusetts supermarkets.
The results revealed that some products sold as pure scallops — meaning they were not processed with additives to soak up moisture — contained water levels far exceeding industry standards. Seafood specialists say the findings suggest many scallops include such additives, but are packaged without any labeling to indicate the treatments.
Scallops are about 75 percent water when they are harvested from the ocean. But some brands appear to add more water, making customers pay for it instead of scallop meat.
For example, Target’s “wild caught all natural sea scallops” were 85 percent water, while New England Wild Jumbo Scallops at Trader Joe’s were 86 percent water, according to Globe testing conducted by an independent lab.
Looked at another way, the proportion of meat in these store-bought shellfish was about 40 percent less than in scallops pulled from the ocean.
Target Corp. said its scallops have no additives, and Trader Joe’s said it requires vendors to provide scallops that are not treated and are less than 83 percent water.
Read the full story at the Boston Globe