• From California rolls to crab cakes, imitation crab meat pops up everywhere.
  • But what is imitation crab meat made of? It contains no actual crab but a fish paste called "surimi."
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za. 


That stuff in your store-bought California roll might look like crab, but it's probably an impostor called "imitation crab."

Imitation crab is less expensive than the real thing, but when it comes to nutrition, there's no competition: real crab is what you want.

The reason imitation crab isn't as nutritious as the real thing is because it contains no actual crab. That's right, the main ingredient is actually a fish paste called surimi.

Surimi is often made from pollock fish with fillers and flavourings like starch, sugar, egg whites, and crab flavouring. The combination of fish parts, carbs, and sugar are why nutrition isn't imitation crab's strongest quality.

Despite containing no real crab and being less nutritious, that's not stopping us from eating it. In 2010, Americans consumed almost twice as much pollock as crab.

You can bet the crabs like those numbers.

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