Surimi Revised & Revisited   

Last monthÕs article about Surimi

prompted comments from ACF Kona-

Kohala Chapter member Ken Love. Ken

is a Chef, trained in Japan, and more

importantly has an allergy to gluten. Many of

you that attended the last Regional Conference

in Hawaii may know Ken, as among other things, he is a

well known expert on tropical fruit and lectures at the University

of Hawaii. The following are excerpts paraphrased from KenÕs

letters to this Editor.


Aloha David,

......having trained as a Chef in Japan, I read with interest the

story on surimi in the Western Region Newsletter. I have Celiac

disease, an allergy to gluten containing foods. Being diagnosed

a few years ago was, needless to say, a shock and forced a

considerable change in lifestyle. 


The surimi story stated that, ŌSurimi is nothing more than

minced wild Alaskan Pollack.Ķ This is not true 99% of the time.

In Japan there is only one maker, in Hiroshima, of surimi that

does not use wheat starch as an additive. Typically, most surimi

uses starch and soy, sugar, egg whites and oil with other



Surimi can make Celiac patients and others with food allergies

violently ill.  With gluten free foods often mentioned as the fastest growing

segment of the packaged food sector, it is about time Chefs

catch up with the need for education and awareness of this and

other food allergies.


At our resorts on HawaiÕi Island, most Executive Chefs are

familiar with allergy concerns when it comes to menu planning

and food preparation, but it does not always filter down. We

have established awareness now with most of the culinary

students, so that will change in time.

I suggest a few gluten free offering on menus as a completive

edge for Chefs willing to take the extra steps and go the extra

mile for their guests.


Thanks Ken. This Editor welcomes comments on this and any

other article that appears in this newsletter. By the time you

read this, I will have returned from HawaiÕi Island where I joined

Ken for the better part of a day, learning more about

Chef/Farmers and tropical fruit production.