Shrimp Industry

5 Signs of Fresh Shrimp and How to Choose High Quality Shrimp!

29 January 2024
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Shrimp is one of the favorite commodities consumed by many people. Before buying shrimp, it is important to know the characteristics of fresh shrimp to avoid making the wrong purchase and causing health risks. There are various tips for choosing fresh shrimp and distinguishing between fresh and spoiled shrimp. Find out more below!

Signs of Fresh Shrimp

Fresh Shrimp Fresh and high quality shrimp can be assessed based on color, texture, movement, and several other criteria.

1. Bright Color

The color of a shrimp reflects its freshness. Fresh shrimp should have a slightly transparent pink or gray color.

2. Firm Tail

Fresh shrimp can also be assessed by their tails. The tail of fresh shrimp should be firm and tightly curved, not limp.

3. Bright Gills

In addition to the overall color of the shrimp, the color of the gills also indicates its freshness. Fresh and healthy shrimp should have bright red gills.

4. Full Gut

Another characteristic of fresh shrimp is a full and intact gut. A full gut indicates that the shrimp has a healthy digestive system and is absorbing enough nutrients from its feed.

5. Complete Organs

Fresh shrimp should have an intact body without any missing or damaged organs from the head to the tail. The shrimp shell should also appear shiny, smooth, and free from cracks.

Signs of Spoiled Shrimp

After getting to know the signs of fresh high quality shrimp, it's time to learn about the characteristics of spoiled shrimp and distinguish between the two.

1. Releases a Pungent Odor

Spoiled shrimp will release an unpleasant or ammonia-like odor. The typical 'seafood' smell is commonly found in fresh shrimp, but if it leans more towards a foul smell, buyers should be cautious.

2. Slimy Shell

Observe whether the shrimp shell is still shiny or if it has started to release slime. If the shell is slimy or soft, it indicates that the shrimp is no longer fresh and has entered the decomposition phase, making it unsafe for consumption.

3. Murky White Flesh

Have you ever seen shrimp with a pale or murky white flesh? Beware as this is a common sign of disease in shrimp. Moreover, if the murkiness is also present in the shrimp's eyes, it further proves the shrimp is no longer fresh.

4. Presence of Black Spots

If you notice black spots on the shrimp you purchased, it means the shrimp is no longer fresh and has entered the decomposition stage. Black spots are caused by bacteria exposure when shrimp is not stored properly.

5. Empty Gut

An empty gut in shrimp indicates that the shrimp has caught a disease. Diseases make shrimp lose their appetite or even stop eating at all.

If not cooked properly, shrimp that has been infected with diseases may pose health risks. The presence of pathogens in such shrimp also speeds up the decomposition process in shrimp.

How to Choose Fresh Shrimp?

After getting to know the characteristics of fresh and spoiled shrimp, are you ready to purchase fresh shrimp? Check out these tips to choose fresh shrimp and make the right purchase!

1. Check the Shrimp’s Color and Aroma

As explained above, fresh shrimp should have a bright color with a distinct seafood aroma. Avoid shrimp that is pale and has an unpleasant odor as it has likely been stored for an prolonged period or with improper storage.

2. Examine the Shrimp’s Texture

A simple way to check the texture of shrimp is by pressing it. Fresh shrimp will have a firm and slightly elastic texture. On the contrary, spoiled shrimp will easily release water and crumble when pressed.

3. Ensure the Body’s Adherence

In fresh shrimp, the shell should adhere tightly to the body and have a clear color. The head should also remain attached to the body.


The characteristics of fresh and spoiled shrimp can be seen from various aspects. Fresh shrimp has a bright color, seafood aroma, intact body, and full guts. In contrast, spoiled shrimp has an unpleasant odor, a slimy shell, and may have black spots on the body.

By following the steps for choosing fresh shrimp as mentioned above, buyers can obtain the right product and avoid health risks.

To find fresh and high quality shrimp, make sure to buy from a reliable supplier like Frosala. Frosala offers various types of shrimp products harvested from professional farms and processed using the quick freezing method to maintain quality throughout shipment until it reaches consumers. Learn more on the Frosala page!

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