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FANTESK-tic Fried ShrimpBy Jan Suszkiw
June 6, 2002
Fantesk, a new, multi-use starch-based product patented by the Agricultural Research Service and licensed to Azure Waves Seafood, Inc. (AWSI) of Cincinnati, Ohio, recently debuted in frozen breaded shrimp at 62 Kroger grocery stores in Ohio and Kentucky, with other locations to follow.
Fantesk is the invention of chemists George F. Fanta and the late Kenneth Eskins. Fanta works at the ARS National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria, Ill. Together, Fanta and Eskins devised a steam jet cooking process to combine cornstarch, vegetable oil and water--which normally dont mix--into a creamlike substance that has many useful properties.
Since patenting Fantesk in 1995 on behalf of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, ARS has issued three licenses on the technology, including an exclusive license on its use as a flavor-releasing agent in frozen seafood to AWSI.
More about Fantesk research
Under a cooperative research and development agreement, Fanta and Harith Razaa, chief executive officer of AWSI, collaborated on ways of using Fantesk to produce a line of frozen shrimp that retain their flavor upon cooking. Razaa also sought to develop a fried shrimp product that had less breading than other frozen seafood brands he had sampled. By encapsulating flavor compounds in tiny droplets of oil, Fantesk offered a new way to enhance the breadings herbs and spices.
AWSI has a contract with Kroger to test-market the frozen breaded shrimp at stores in Ohio and Kentucky under the label Blue Harbor Inn Premium Seafood. Azure also plans to expand its test-marketing to locations in Indiana and Illinois.
Eskins and Fanta initially developed Fantesk as part of the ARS centers mission of developing new, value-added products from surplus cornstarch, vegetable oil and other agricultural commodities. Collaborating ARS scientists have also shown that Fantesk can be used as a fat replacer in ice cream, cheese, sauces, ground meats and other foods.
ARS is the USDAs chief scientific research agency.
You can read more about Fantesk at: