The ShrimpFan™ color measurement tool

Color is an important quality criteria for shrimp. Higher color more uniform color of cooked shrimp deliver premium products to the consumer. Astaxanthin is the most abundant pigment in most crustaceans, it is not produced by de novo synthesis and shrimp must acquire astaxanthin through their diet. Shrimp can bio-convert canthaxanthin and beta-carotene to astaxanthin,  but this process is  energy demanding since both canthaxanthin and beta-carotene are less efficient pigments in shrimp. Pigments are required for optimum nutrition of shrimp (anti-oxidant function, pigmentation and colour, photoprotection, pro-vitamin A).

The ShrimpFan™ color measurement scale by dsm-firmenich is the new industry tool for measuring shrimp color. At dsm-firmenich, we have developed a range of color measurement tools adapted to the needs of the industry from feed producers to retailers. The ShrimpFan™ offers a simple, accurate and consistent mean of measuring the color of shrimp.

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Selected species

How to measure shrimp color using the ShrimpFan™ lineal

Attention must be paid to the following factors during the determination of shrimp color using the ShrimpFan™ lineal.

  1. The ShrimpFan™ fan and lineal have been designed for use with shrimp where they have been fed with diets containing CAROPHYLL® pink astaxanthin
  2. The evaluation is best conducted against a grey background in order to eliminate the effects of adjacent colors
  3. The color matching procedure is preferably carried out in daylight. If fluorescent light is used, cool daylight fluorescent characteristics are recommended to prevent color distortion
  4. The color shapes of the ShrimpFan™ lineal should be positioned on the shrimp and viewed vertically from above. In order to narrow the range when doing the readings, parts of the ShrimpFan™ lineal can be covered with your hands.
  5. For consistent results, the evaluation of shrimp color should be carried out by the same observer, or observers, who should be pre-tested for color perception.


To avoid fading or other changes in the colors, the ShrimpFan™ lineal, when not in use, must be protected from light.


The ShrimpFan™ lineal has been developed for easy cleaning and disinfection. This should be part of the quality routine for all food processing applications.

Color requirements

The shrimp color which are preferred by buyers and customers in different countries, and for different processes, are highly variable and therefore color requirements must be agreed upon by the individuals concerned.


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