How to Remove Sodium Tripolyphosphate from Shrimp

How to Remove Sodium Tripolyphosphate from Shrimp

Shrimp is an excellent source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, and iodine, but now and then, we see a food product somewhere in the world that doesn’t live up to its potential health benefits. One of these substances is sodium tripolyphosphate; on this page is how to remove sodium tripolyphosphate from shrimp and get just pure shrimp without those chemicals.

Removing the sodium tripolyphosphate from shrimp is a multi-step process, but it’s not particularly difficult. First, you need to soak your cleaned shrimp for about 30 minutes in hot water, followed by an overnight soak in fresh cold water. The chemicals will dissolve as the hot water turns cold, leaving the meal behind.

Whenever buying frozen or fresh shrimp, you want to make sure there’s no Sodium Tripolyphosphate. There are 2 ways to tell if your shrimp has this additive. One is by seeing it listed on the ingredient label, and two is by buying the seafood frozen, not fresh, and using sodium tripolyphosphate test strips.

What Is Sodium Tripolyphosphate?

Sodium Tripolyphosphate, or STPP, is a type of salt often used as an additive in food. For example, It can be added to meat, canned vegetables and fruit, and cheeses to increase shelf life and improve texture. It is also used in toothpaste and detergents.

As an additive, sodium tripolyphosphate acts as a preservative. It also improves the texture of foods with high water content, such as canned foods.

STPP has also been used in toothpaste to keep the fluoride from reacting with other chemicals in the paste. Additionally, it can be added to laundry detergent to prevent minerals found in hard water from sticking to the soap itself.

Furthermore, sodium tripolyphosphate is an anti-clumping agent added during the freezing process. Commercial fishing companies use this mixture on a large scale to keep shrimp from clumping together, which would make it harder for them to be processed into your favorite meal. 

While sodium tripolyphosphate can be used for house cleaning purposes, you can also use other alternatives.

How to Remove Sodium from Shrimp

How to Remove Sodium from ShrimpSodium is a common ingredient in shrimp and shellfish, and you may want to remove it if you are on a low-salt diet or have high blood pressure. However, sodium is needed for cooking shrimp and shellfish, so removing the sodium can be tricky.

Fortunately for home cooks everywhere, there are a few tried-and-true techniques for removing sodium from shrimp.

The first step you will take is to remove the shells from your shrimp. Next, you will need to hold the shrimp by its tail and pull off the shell with your other hand. It can be tricky if you are not used to it, so don’t worry if you mess it up on your first few tries!

Once all of your shells have been removed, rinse them thoroughly under running water. It will help remove any excess salt that may have stuck to their surfaces during the cooking or preparation processes.

Here is a simple step:

1. Boil the shrimp in water for about 10 minutes

2. Remove shrimp from the water after it is done boiling and submerge it in cold water for about 5 minutes

3. Once the shrimp has been submerged in cold water, cut a hole in the shell at the top of the shrimp where its head was and devein it by taking out the black vein that runs through the middle of its back

 How to Remove Sodium Tripolyphosphate from Shrimp

To remove sodium tripolyphosphate (STPP) from shrimp, you’ll need the following:

  • Shrimp
  • A bowl
  • Heavy cream
  • Vinegar (or lemon juice)


1. Place the shrimp in a bowl.

2. Pour heavy cream over the shrimp. Mix it well with your hands until all of the shrimp are covered with cream.

3. add vinegar to the mix, and mix again with your hands for about 10 minutes. You can also add more heavy cream to keep your hands from feeling too cold if you’d like.

4. Remove the shrimp from the bowl and rinse them off under cold water in your sink. Now you’re ready to enjoy STPP-free shrimp.

However, many people do not like to eat shrimp when treated with sodium tripolyphosphate. It is because this chemical enhances the appearance of shrimp by making them plumper and pinker than they would normally be. 

Sodium tripolyphosphate also makes shrimp absorb more water and become spongy, which some people dislike. If you like to eat shrimp but don’t want to eat sodium tripolyphosphate, you can easily remove it from your shrimp before you prepare them.

Does Rinsing Shrimp Reduce Sodium?

Does Rinsing Shrimp Reduce SodiumUnfortunately, rinsing shrimp in cold water will not significantly reduce the sodium content of the shrimp.

The sodium in the shrimp is mostly inside, and rinsing it with cold water won’t do much to decrease the sodium content, although it will rinse off some bacteria on the surface.

So to reduce the sodium content of your shrimp, how you cook it will be more important than rinsing it. Boiling and steaming shrimp, for example, will cause it to lose salt through its porous shell. You can also soak your shrimp in a bowl of cold water for about 10 minutes after cooking to help remove some of the excess salt.

Although It’s always a good idea to rinse fresh fish, shrimp, or meat before cooking, that doesn’t mean the sodium will go away. When you rinse any seafood, you’re washing away any residual salt and dirt on the surface of the meat. 

In the case of shrimp, they are often frozen or preserved in a saltwater solution. Once thawed and rehydrated, there is residual sodium in the shrimp’s flesh.

When you rinse shrimp before cooking, you remove some excess salt, but not all of it. So if you are cutting down on your sodium intake with your shrimp dinner, the best thing to control is how much salt you use in your cooking process.

Is Frozen Shrimp High in Sodium?

Frozen shrimp tends to be higher in sodium than fresh shrimp. It’s just one thing that happens when you’re freezing food. It has something to do with the way nutrients behave after being frozen. 

You can always rinse it off or cook it down before cooking it with other foods, but if sodium is a major concern, you might want to stick with fresh shrimp whenever possible.

Although, frozen shrimp is generally low in sodium unless it’s prepared with a lot of salt. For example, if you order fried shrimp at a restaurant, it will likely be high in sodium. But if you buy frozen, pre-cooked shrimp and cook it yourself, it’s unlikely to have much sodium (unless you add salt).

The nutritional information on the back of your frozen shrimp packaging should tell you how much sodium is in each serving.

Frozen shrimp is one of the lowest-sodium options for seafood, even compared to fresh.

So if you’re looking for a healthy dinner option that’s both low in calories and low in sodium, frozen shrimp is a great choice.

Does Boiling Shrimp Reduce Sodium?

Does Boiling Shrimp Reduce SodiumBoiling shrimp will not reduce the sodium content of the shellfish. Rather, it will increase the sodium content by 50%, as the sodium in the water seeps into the shrimp while they cook.

It depends on what kind of shrimp you’re boiling and how long you’re boiling it. During the aquaculture process, shrimp kept in saltwater will have more sodium than freshwater-farmed shrimp.

So if you are using saltwater-farmed shrimp, you may be able to reduce the overall amount of sodium in the shrimp by boiling it. However, if you’re using freshwater-farmed shrimp, a quick boil probably won’t affect the amount of sodium in the shrimp.

Does Soaking Shrimp Remove Sodium?

Soaking your salty shrimp in a solution with a pH level of about 8 (which is slightly basic) will cause the sodium to dissolve into the water, so you can go ahead and drain off the water and enjoy your brine-free meal.

You can also soak your shrimp in milk rather than water—the lactic acid in milk helps draw out some of the salt from inside your shrimp. Either way, your dish will be less salty when you cook it up.

No, soaking shrimp does not remove sodium. Sodium is an ion present in the liquid you use to soak your shrimp in, so it will still be there when you eat the shrimp.

However, soaking your shrimp in a sodium-containing liquid can change the texture of your shrimp. Soak in water and come out crunchy; soak them in milk, and they’ll come out soft.

How Do You Get the Salty Taste Out of Shrimp?

How Do You Get the Salty Taste Out of ShrimpThe best way to get the salty taste out of shrimp is to soak it in milk for half an hour.

Wrap the shrimp in cheesecloth and soak it in milk. After 30 min, rinse the shrimp thoroughly before cooking or eating it.

If you don’t have milk, you can also use lemon juice or water.

Alternatively, place your shrimp in a bowl and cover them with cold water for about 15 minutes before cooking. It will help draw out some saltiness, leaving you with a less overpowering taste.

However, The easiest way to get the salty taste out of shrimp is to soak it in water for about 30 minutes. It will get rid of salt and reduce that fishy taste.

Suppose you’re preparing your shrimp for a dish and want to avoid adding too much salt while cooking; boil the shrimp before adding it to the dish. The salty water will boil off and won’t be a part of the final flavor of your dish.


Sodium tripolyphosphate is a preservative used commonly in the frozen food industry and fish markets. However, you can also find it in other frozen foods, including poultry, meats, and seafood. And that is why this page guide on how to remove sodium tripolyphosphate from shrimp will help you and keep you healthy.

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