Is Caviar Pasteurized?

Caviar is one of the most exclusive and interesting fish delicacies you can try. It is actually a product made of fish eggs, and sturgeon roe is considered to be the “true” or premium type of caviar. It comes in four varieties and can be served in different ways, but the most important question that comes to our mind might be – is caviar pasteurized?

Caviar is usually pasteurized to extend its shelf life. This does not mean that it loses its taste. This process only involves lightly cooking caviar for canning purposes. The positive outcome is that you can keep an unopened container for up to one year without any worries about the possible degradation of the product.

It is rare to see that pasteurized caviar is labeled as such, but this is usually obvious due to its packaging. If you notice that the caviar is packed in a vacuum-sealed container, this indicates that it was pasteurized. If you want to ensure that this means it was pasteurized, you should check this with a trusted merchant or look for the information on the internet for the specific product.

A spoon of red caviar

Is Caviar Pasteurized or Unpasteurized? Its Longevity Depends on This

In case you want to buy some fine caviar and know how to care for it once you buy it and make sure its flavor lasts, you probably want to find out more about its longevity. After all, this is a delicate product, so it is essential that you store it properly and ensure it keeps its quality. First of all, you need to understand how long caviar is meant to last and what steps can improve and endanger its shelf life while keeping its quality undiminished.

Production methods in the 21st century have become advanced, but still, the process of curing sturgeon roe remains pretty simple. Most producers of caviar will put the product in a saline solution, and the level of salt will depend on the specifications of the product.

The only problem with this is that the pasteurized product isn’t marked as such. If you notice it is canned, this should indicate that it is pasteurized, but you still can’t be 100% sure without asking for this information from the producers. You can usually find all the specifications and information about these products online. Caviar can be unpasteurized as well, but you should know the difference depending on the packaging and freshness of the product.

Black caviar in a can on top of some salt

Pasteurization Process Is Popular for Keeping Products Longevity

Pasteurization is currently widespread all over the world because of its simplicity and ability to extend the life of any product by light cooking. Only light cooking of caviar is enough to extend its shelf life which can be very convenient for users. This is also the thing that makes the import and export of caviar possible – no matter where you are from, you should be able to try at least some version of this canned product.

Specifications of the product will usually remain the same, and it shouldn’t lose all of its charms because of the pasteurization. If you have tried an unpasteurized product before, the only difference you might notice is that the product won’t have the same “pop” of freshness and flavor.

One of the most positive outcomes and main reasons for the pasteurization process is that you can keep the canned product on the shelf for up to one year – if you don’t open the can. In fact, you’ll need to consume the product soon after it’s opened, as its quality and freshness will degrade quickly.

Pasteurized Product Is Popular for Meal Prepping Process

While some connoisseurs might look down on the pasteurized caviar, there is still a time and place where its usage is appropriate. For example, this type of product is great for use in large quantities, especially in the process of making pasta and some complex dishes, where the usage of the raw form of caviar will be considered a waste of expensive food.

You Can Find Different Types of This Product on the Market

There are many types of caviar available on the market, and the main difference is in their quality and with that the price. “Cured sturgeon roe” is the finest and purest type of caviar, and it can be preserved with salting. It can be cured light or heavy, and this depends on the fish eggs’ quality, but at least some salt will be needed for this type of food to be classified as caviar.

Take a look at this table if you’re curious about the market prices of canned caviar.

Type of ProductPackagePrice
Brownfin Black Caviar4 oz (113 g)$50
Captain’s Salmon Red Caviar6.35 oz (180 g)$21.50
Citadel Salmon Red Caviar10.6 oz (300 g)$37.50
Dari Kamchatka Salmon Red Caviar5 oz (140 g)$18

People Will Choose Type of Product Depending on Their Needs and Possibilities

People will usually determine if they’ll buy a pasteurized or unpasteurized product depending on their needs and possibilities. It might be easier to find pasteurized caviar in a can than unpasteurized pure caviar, and this will usually depend on your current location.

As I already mentioned, the most important feature of pasteurized caviar is that an unopened container can be stored on the shelf for about a year, making it a great affordable option for many who can’t find the fresh product in their vicinity. Also, the pasteurized form is usually less expensive, and it is great for various needs and cooking of different meals that include caviar as one of the ingredients.