Common Misconceptions

It’s a common misconception that frozen seafood is not as fresh as seafood that has never been frozen. However, we have firsthand experience importing fresh and never frozen products in the past, and we know that the process to offer quality, fresh seafood is delicate and often inefficient. After decades of offering fresh seafood, we identified the best way to offer consistently high-quality products, while avoiding the inefficiencies of the fresh supply chain, is by offering flash-frozen products.

Different from regular freezing that takes hours to gradually lower the temperature until reaching the freezing point, flash-freezing takes only minutes. This technique prevents ice crystals forming in the cells, which is a sign of damage to the cell structures, and reduces the quality and taste once it is thawed. It also preserves the integrity of the item by stopping the decomposition process, effectively freezing the item in its freshest state.

Flash-Frozen vs. Fresh

From ocean to table, the decomposition process starts immediately at sea, and continues until the product is either frozen or cooked. To delay this process as much as possible, fresh seafood is put on ice after being caught and stays on ice during transport before arriving to your hands. This process can take days or even weeks for “fresh” fish. On the contrary, flash-frozen seafood is often frozen within hours of being caught, stopping the decomposition process quickly. When properly thawed, flash-frozen seafood has the same taste and texture as if it were still hours from catch.


At sea for 1-5 Days. Most of our boats are day boats that return to the plant the same day. Some NETUNO products are even frozen on board.



At Sea for 1-4 days. Fresh fish is put on ice until it can be taken to the processing plant for packing and shipping.

Processing 1-2 days. Fish is cleaned, and filleted when applicable, then immediately flash-frozen and packed for shipment. Freezing stops the decomposition process at the earliest possible point.


Processing 1-2 days. Fish remains on ice while it is packed and prepared for shipment.

Arrives via frozen shipping container in about 4-6 weeks. Fish arrives at the import house and is stored in a freezer until it is sold to a distributor. The shelf life of NETUNO products is 24 months as long as the cold chain remains intact.


Arrives via air shipment in about 1-2 Days. Product arrives at the import house and is stored on ice. Since this fish has been decomposing for several days already, this product must be sold within 1-2 days.

Distributor receives the product with plenty of shelf-life remaining to sell to their restaurant customers.


Distributor receives the product and must sell it to restaurants within 1-2 days at best to maximize the shelf-life of the fish.

Restaurant purchases frozen products from the distributor and can decide when to use it as long as they have somewhere to store it frozen. Individually vacuum-packed items allow for less waste since kitchens will only use what is needed. When the product is properly thawed, it is as fresh as the day it was frozen.


Restaurant purchases fresh product from the distributor and must use it immediately. At this point in the process, the fish has been decomposing on ice for at least 5 days. In most cases, it’s longer. Whatever isn’t sold is discarded, creating waste.

Benefits of Flash-Freezing

Flash-Freezing preserves the cells integrity when the product is at its freshest point and ensures a much smoother thawing process that, if done right, will maintain the quality and nutritional value of the product from the moment it was frozen.

At NETUNO, we flash-freeze our products in specialized factories immediately after arriving from the coastlines, like you can see here with our Red Snappers. Some products, like our whole lobsters, are frozen on board. Our flash-frozen products ensure maximum freshness preservation and will keep that way until you’re ready to use it. We offer some tips below for working with frozen seafood to help you get the best flavor and texture from your frozen seafood products.

Tips for Handling Frozen Seafood