Food Engineering

Food Packaging: Two technologies deliver one tasty package

May 9, 2003


Motivatit Seafoods designed new shipping trays to make handling more convenient for its new frozen, raw oysters on the half shell. The products boast a six-month shelf life.
Houma, La.-based Motivatit Seafoods Inc. has made a name for itself with Gold Band raw oysters, one of the first commercially available products to be processed with high pressure (Food Engineering, September 1999). Now the company is going national with frozen half-shell versions of the brand.

Company president Ernie Voisin was the first to apply Flow (now Avure) Technologies’ high-pressure process to kill Vibrio in raw oysters, extending shelf life to two to three weeks in the process. Motivatit recently married HPP to a cryogenic freezing process developed by Hillman Oyster Co. to create a product with a six-month life, according to Kevin Voisin, director of sales and marketing. The frozen oysters are being distributed nationally by Slade Gorton & Co. Inc., Boston.

“It’s been a beautiful blending of cold pasteurization and freezing technology,” says Voisin. “It takes distribution of raw oysters to a new level.”

A specially designed freezer tray was fabricated. Bubble-wrap layering typically is used to distribute raw oysters in foodservice channels, and that can create handling issues for chefs. The freezer trays double as staging areas during thawing and allow cooks to transport a dozen oysters with one hand.

The trays also are convenient for retailers, who can remove a dozen oysters at a time from the shipping box and place them in their seafood cases, Voisin says.

The added cost of cryogenic freezing is more than offset by cost savings in shipping, he adds. While a case of 144 Gold Band oysters weighs 50 to 55 lbs., an equal number of half-shell oysters weighs 23 to 25 lbs.

For more information: Pat Adams, Avure Technologies Inc., 253-813-2712,