Industry Analysis of Gulf Area Frozen Processed Shrimp and An Estimation of Its Economic Adaptability to Radiation Processing

Perishbility is a cost-increasing factor common in the marketing of seafood products. Modern preservation techniques, particularly the various modes of freezing, have been highly effective extenders of storage life and have paved the way for universal distribution of the products of many fisheries. Nontheless, problems of quality maintenance persist in the seafood industry and there is ample justification for continued efforts to improve preservation methdods. This is especially true for the shrimp industry which yearly is confrotned by a proportionately small but costly spoilage problem. Irradiation preservation is one of the new methods under study that appears especially suitable for seafood products. As a follow-up to technological research, this study explores the commerical feasibility of using irradiation as a preservation technique for processed shrimp products in the Gulf and South Atlantic States Region. The study finds that the loss rate due to spoilage among processed shrimp products may be as high as 6 percent of total production. This represents at minimum an annual economic loss to distributors in the neighborhood of $16 million. Consumers are heavy losers too, inasmuch as shrimp lost through spoilage reduce supplies and set the state for higher prices. Assuming that irradiation processing could eliminate at least one-half the spoilage problem, commercial investments in shrimp irradiation processing appear highly attractive. The investment, from a social point of view, would likewise be attractive, as ample public benefits would be generated by a relatively modest public expenditure fro research and development of the process. It is also pointed out in the study that there is no certainty at present that shrimp irradiation processing will preform, technologically, in strict accordance with the assumptions made in this economic feasibility analysis. However, the analysis servfes a useful prupose in emphasizng, generally, the economic wisdom of even modest expenditures and efforts to improve the quality of high-valued high-volume seafood products.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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