Most varieties of instant shredded jellyfish in the markets of Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, have been found to be artificial, cnwest.com reported on Thursday.
The artificial instant shredded jellyfish was first found in a food market in the southern part of Xi’an, where some customers became suspicious when a vendor’s selection of jellyfish seemed too cheap.
According to the vendor, the cooked shredded jellyfish was 12 yuan ($1.8) per kilogram while normal, raw shredded jellyfish was 20 yuan ($3) per kilogram.
“I bought my jellyfish from a provider and am not aware of its exact origin,” the vendor said.
Reporters later found uncooked instant shredded jellyfish being sold at only 4 yuan ($0.7) per kilogram in another market.
Some vendors admitted that the cheap jellyfish was artificial and stated that the material had been sold for a long time. However, they refused to reveal their sources.
Another vendor from a food market in Tanshijie told reporters that people can easily recognize fake jellyfish, as the real variety smells salty and fishy.
One vendor said that the artificial jellyfish was not seafood at all, and that it was made from sodium alginate, a carbohydrate that can be extracted from kelp.
Artificial jellyfish, which does not have much nutritional value, costs only a few cents per kilogram, and it may do harm to people’s health if consumed regularly, an insider was quoted by the report.