Gray And Pink Shrimp: What is the differences

Do you know the difference between Gray and Pink Shrimp? It is common for some people to doubt the type of shrimp they will take home when shopping.

Among the various species of shrimp sold on the national market, the best known are the red shrimp, the seven-beard shrimp, the gray and pink shrimp.

In this article, we have gathered some vital information so that you know and understand the main differences between these crustacean species.

Gray Shrimp

This species is popularly known in Brazil as gray shrimp, but its scientific name is Litopenaeus vannamei . Despite originating in the Pacific Ocean, around here, gray shrimp are usually grown in saltwater ponds, known as shrimp farms.

The grey shrimp, known as ‘Purus,’ is a unique Flemish sea product. Often described as the ‘queen of seafood,’ they are less than an inch long when peeled, have a greyish-pink color, and have a more pronounced taste than the traditional, more giant, pink shrimps.

Origin Of Gray Shrimp

Gray shrimp is produced in brazil, and central shrimp farms are in the Northeast, Bahia, Rio Grande do Norte, Ceará, and Pernambuco.

Shrimp farms mainly focus on marketing and rely on rigorous creation and industrial production processes, taking all the necessary precautions in the cold chain, standardizing sizes, and food safety.

Here at Villa Camarão, shrimp is produced by one of the largest producers in the Northeast, Potiporã, in Rio Grande does Norte.

How Is The Production Process Of Gray Shrimp

On large shrimp farms, the cultivation of gray shrimp takes place in two stages:

Firstly, the larviculture process, which is the stage responsible for the production of the post-larvae;

Secondly, the fattening stage occurs through feeding with rations and appropriate amounts for growth until the ideal size for commercializing the gray shrimp.

As commercialization is the main focus of farm production, food safety is one of the main concerns of industries; with that in mind, most farms undergo strict quality control and inspection to obtain certification from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, the SIF.

But wait, the so-called gray shrimp is not always gray! Gray shrimp refers to the color of the shrimp in its raw state. Once cooked, it takes on a reddish color.

Pink Shrimp

The Pink Shrimp, in turn, is a marine species usually found in the East of the United States and the South of Brazil. This species lives in sandy regions with little depth and is recognized as an excellent swimmer.

The pink shrimp swims with rhythmic movements and, with just the movement of the open tail, makes it move backward as well. This species usually feeds on small marine animals or even decaying organic matter. 

In addition, pink shrimp have the habit of walking in groups, especially during their breeding season.

What are the differences In the Marketing Of Pink Shrimp

Pink shrimp are used in the food industry to prepare dishes because of their sweet flavor. It also suffers from some difficulties regarding its commercialization, such as:

  • Lack of size standardization;
  • Non-regular supply, which happens due to the closed season for shrimp, where fishing for this species is strictly prohibited;
  • Lack of guarantee of food safety since few products in this category obtain certification from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Supply.

What is the classification Difference Between Gray and Pink Shrimp?

In addition to the differences mentioned earlier, another difference between gray and pink shrimp is that because they are grown in nurseries and have greater control over their production process, gray shrimp manages to have a standard classification than pink shrimp.

However, this standard classification allows the sale to occur more safely for customers, improving the preparation management and the economy of the businesses that work with this product.

Frequently Asked Question

Why Does Shrimp Change Color?

Because these protein chains are not heat-stable, their protein-wrapping uncoils when crustaceans are put in boiling water. Voila! Red-orange astaxanthin molecules are released. Because pigments related to the carotenes are stable, the astaxanthins now display their unique, appealing, deep hues.

How To Thaw Frozen Shrimp

You should always be thawed Frozen shrimp before cooking. To thaw frozen shrimp, take them out of their bag and place them in a bowl under cold (not warm) running water. They’ll be good to go in just a few minutes.

If you don’t want to let the water run, place them in a bowl of cold water and let them rest until defrosted (it’ll take about twice as long using this method). For most recipes, it’s a good idea to thoroughly dry your shrimp on paper towels before proceeding.

Does Raw Shrimp Go Bad In The Fridge?

Raw shrimp last in the fridge for one to two days but can last for months if frozen. Cooked shrimp last three to four days. To reheat cooked shrimp, use a lower temperature and frequently check to avoid overcooking.

When storing raw shrimp in the fridge, please keep it on the bottom shelf.

How Can You Tell If Thawed Shrimp Is Bad?

Signs to look out for are torn or opened packaging, freezer burn on shrimp and bendable frozen shrimp. Do not buy or use frozen shrimp if you notice any of the signs. Also, if you notice that the “best before” date on the packaging of your frozen shrimp has expired, discard the package and do not use it.

How Long Does Raw Shrimp Last?

Shrimp shelled or unshelled , fresh and raw are sold refrigerated.
After you purchased shrimp, they may be refrigerated for 1 to 2 days – the “sell-by” date on the package may expire during that storage period, but the shrimp will remain safe to use after the sell-by date if they have been properly stored.

What Does Raw Pink Shrimp Look Like?

However, Raw shrimp meat is translucent pink to gray. When cooked, shrimp shells are pinkish-red, and their meat is pearly white with pink and red shadings.


There is not much difference between pink and gray shrimp. It is based on your choice; you can choose pink or gray shrimp and enjoy your dish without fear, as both will bring out the unrefined flavor of your dish.

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