Police in China Investigate Gelatin-Plumped Shrimp

The shrimp at the market are smaller than they appear

Wikimedia/Frank C. Müller

A seafood vendor was caught allegedly filling shrimp with gelatin to make them weigh more and look more delicious.

Police in China are investigating a seafood seller who may have come up with a sneaky, and pretty disgusting, way of increasing his profits after a customer said he sold her shrimp that had been pumped full of gelatin.

According to Shanghaiist, this new food scandal comes out of Zhejiang, where a young woman was preparing some shrimp when she discovered that her future dinner had been stuffed full of something decidedly not shrimplike.

The woman said the head came off one of the shrimp, and when it did a clear blob of jelly-like goo fell out. Wisely, she decided not to eat it. Instead she took it to the Internet, where people have been guessing at what the gel could possibly be. Most seem to be leaning toward gelatin, which could have been stuffed into the shrimp to make them weigh more and look plump and delicious, but some people have suggested the goop could be adhesive plastic glass. Gelatin isn’t looking so bad after all.

After news got out, the authorities began an investigation of the seafood vendor. He says he bought the shrimp from another seafood vendor, claiming to be innocent of any shrimp-tampering.