Astaxanthin — A carotenoid that is in the same family of nutrients as Vitamin A. All living organisms require carotenoids for proper growth and development. This nutrient is also responsible for the pink flesh color of the salmon. Wild salmon obtain Astaxanthin by feeding on marine organisms such as krill and small shrimp. Astaxanthin is an additive for the farm-raised salmon feed and is FDA approved.
Brine — Prior to smoking, all products are brined with a cure of salt and sometimes sugars and spices. There are two common methods of brining. The first method is “dry brining”, also referred to as Scottish style. It consists of using a mixture of salt and sometimes sugars, spices and other flavoring applied directly to the meat of the fish. Once the fish is dry brined for a period of time, the brine mixture is then rinsed off, and the fish is ready to be smoked. Brining times will vary depending upon the species and the size of the fish. The second type of brine is called “wet brine”. Wet Brined fish are placed in a solution of water, salt and other sugars prior to smoking.
Cold-Smoked — This is a process of smoking seafood in a smoker where the air temperature does not exceed 90ºF. Products that are cold-smoked have a texture similar to the raw product. During this process, the smoke is used to enhance the flavor of the fish rather than cook the product. Cold-smoked fish tend to slice thinly.
Curing — A method of preserving meats and seafood which may involve brining, smoking, salting, and/or drying.
Gravad Lox — This product is different from smoked salmon. Gravad Lox is salmon, which is coated with a spice mixture (it often includes dill, sugars, and spices like juniper berry). It is then weighted down to force the moisture from the fish and impart the flavorings. Gravad Lox is not smoked but can be served in a similar fashion. Our variation on this term is the “gravlax” product and it is cold-smoked.
Hot-Smoked — This term refers to the smoking process when the internal core temperature of the seafood reaches 145ºF or above. Generally, the seafood reaches 145ºF for three continuous minutes and is fully cooked. Seafood that is hot-smoked is generally flaky in texture and does not slice thinly. Most hot-smoked seafood has a burnished golden appearance when done. Hot-smoked can also be called “smoke roasted” or “kippered”.
Kippered — This term has two meanings. The first definition refers to any seafood that has been hot-smoked as previously described. The second use of the word “kippered” refers to a cold-smoked herring. This usage of “kippered” is generally found in the U.K.
Kosher — According to Jewish law, some foods cannot be eaten and those that can be eaten must be prepared properly. The Jewish religion has strict dietary guidelines and those who follow it must only eat foods that are kosher. Certain animals are not to be consumed at all while others must be slaughtered properly to be considered kosher. A Rabbi will make routine visits to inspect the Ducktrap plant to ensure the Rabbinical standards are being met, and if so, renew our certification.
Lox — The word Lox is a Yiddish translation of the German word “lachs” which means salmon. This term references a method of curing salmon. Traditionally, lox has a much higher salt level and is not smoked. Lox can be either wet or dry brined.
MSC — Marine Stewardship Council – an independent non-profit organization that promotes responsible fishing practices. Seafood products can display the blue MSC Eco label on it if that seafood can be traced back to through the supply chain to a fishery that has been certified against the MSC standard.
Nova — This is a term used to describe a type of salmon that is cured with a milder brine than lox. Traditionally, Atlantic salmon from Nova Scotia were used for Nova. Nova also has a lighter smoke profile.
Packaging — Vacuum packaging refers to a packaging process where the air is removed from a plastic pouch, and the pouch is then sealed. This is an ideal package to both display and freeze smoked product. Vacuum packaging helps extend the refrigerated shelf life of smoked seafood.
Salmon — There are 5 species of Western salmon native to the Pacific Ocean: Chum (also called Keta), Pink (humpback), Sockeye (Red), King (Chinook), and Coho (Silver). The Atlantic salmon is the only salmon native to the Atlantic. Its high fat content and peach color make it the most sought after of all species for smoking.
HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) — a system for preventing food borne illness by identifying the processing steps at which problems may occur and developing solutions to reduce or eliminate them. At the request of the seafood industry, HACCP became mandatory for seafood by the FDA in December 1997. Ducktrap has been operating under a strict HACCP program since 1994.
Omega-3 — the fatty acids found in seafood and other sources. Research has found that these fatty acids have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system and many other aspects of human health.
Pinbones — Fine bones found along the middle of fillets.
Sodium Nitrate/ Nitrite — Synthetic food preservatives added to cured meat to preserve its color, prevent fats from spoiling and stops bacteria from growing. At Ducktrap, we take pride in our all natural approach to smoking seafood and our continued commitment to being artificial preservative free.
BAP (Best Aquaculture Practices) — standards address environmental and social responsibility, animal welfare, food safety and traceability in a voluntary certification program for aquaculture facilities. BAP certification defines the most important elements of responsible aquaculture and provides quantitative guidelines by which to evaluate adherence to those practices.
GGAP (GLOBAL G.A.P.) — is the internationally recognized standard for farm production. Their core product is the result of years of intensive research and collaboration with industry experts. Their goal is safe and sustainable agricultural production to benefit farmers, retailers and consumers throughout the world.
GSI (Global Salmon Initiative) — is a leadership initiative by global farmed salmon producers, focused on making significant progress towards fully realizing a shared goal of providing a highly sustainable source of healthy protein to feed a growing global population, whilst minimizing their environmental footprint, and continuing to improve their social contribution.
ASC — aims to be the world’s leading certification and labeling program for responsibly farmed seafood. The ASC’s primary role is to manage the global standards for responsible aquaculture, which were developed by the WWF Aquaculture Dialogues. ASC works with aquaculture producers, seafood processors, retail and foodservice companies, scientists, conservation groups and consumers to: Recognize and reward responsible aquaculture through the ASC aquaculture certification program and seafood label, Promote best environmental and social choice when buying seafood, Contribute to transforming seafood markets towards sustainability.