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How to Check Caviar for Quality and Naturalness

To fully enjoy the exquisite taste of natural black caviar, you need to choose this product correctly. Unfortunately, under the guise of a real delicacy, some manufacturers try to sell fakes made from seaweed, gelatin, or less expensive fish (pike, for example). There are several ways to check the naturalness of caviar.

Checking of Natural Black Caviar by the Appearance

Before buying and consuming sturgeon caviar, we recommend carefully examining the product. It is possible to identify signs of black caviar that visually determine its naturalness:

  • The appearance of eggs should not be of one uniform color, while natural eggs always have a so-called eye — a dark spot. Evenly colored round balls indicate artificial conditions for the creation of a protein product that imitates raw eggs;
  • The consistency should be uniform and crumbly, and the eggs should not stick together.
  • Aroma — black caviar does not have a pronounced fishy smell. It is gentle and pleasant.
  • Color — sturgeon caviar is not entirely black. It has yellowish, brown, and gray shades.

If the caviar has an intense shine and a pronounced bright color, this indicates the addition of dyes to improve the product’s appearance. But in this case, it is worth remembering: Not all that glitters is gold. Natural black caviar does not leave a greasy mark. If it did, the manufacturers greased it well with oil.

Mostly sturgeon caviar is sold on the Ukrainian market — it has gray-green eggs with a diameter of up to 4 mm. When pressed, they quickly burst, leaving a white milky trail. Products from sevruga and sterlet will have smaller eggs, about 1 mm in size. A caviar that is too small is a fake made of pike roe. 

Life Hacks for Quality Control at Home

If you have already purchased black caviar, you can evaluate its quality and naturalness using the water test. Boil water, pour it into a container (glass, bowl, plate, etc.), and place a small amount of eggs in it. The faking markers are the following:

  1. The roe has lost its color, and the water, on the contrary, has turned gray or black — this indicates that the caviar has been dyed.
  2. The eggs softened or wholly dissolved in the liquid — this reaction occurs with an artificial product created from gelatin and seaweed.
  3. The formation of an oily film on the water indicates the eggs were well-oiled for a bright appearance or made of protein.

When it enters warm water, real black caviar becomes lighter, clouding it. Each roe turns into a kind of boiled fish egg. However, the water should not significantly change color, and no foreign impurities appear on its surface. Placing in liquid is the most effective way to test for black caviar.

How to Buy a Quality Natural Delicacy?

However, it is better to ensure the naturalness of the fish delicacy at the purchase stage. To do this, you must buy the product from proven Ukrainian manufacturers who take responsibility for their work and carry out veterinary and sanitary control of the broodstock. A jar with caviar should contain all the necessary information: type of fish, date of capture, and composition. Natural products do not have any impurities except the caviar itself, salt, and a high-quality harmless preservative.The shelf life of natural black caviar cannot be longer than 12 months. Too long a shelf life indicates that preservatives and dyes have been added to the product, which reduces the benefits of black caviar. Therefore, be careful when choosing a fish delicacy — trust only legal farms that obtain products by life-harvesting without killing the fish.

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