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Fisheries > Culture Fisheries > Mussels

Processing, Byproducts and Utilization

Depuration

Mussel is a good indicator of faecal pollution of aquatic environment. It is easy to purify mussels of bacterial pollution since they cleanse themselves when kept in clean seawater. Studies conducted by the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT) on various depuration methods in P. viridis gave the best results when the mussels were kept for 18 hrs in clean seawater collected from the natural habitat of the mussel.

Processing

Iced and frozen mussels: Fresh mussels preserved in ice remain in organoleptically acceptable condition up to 9 days. Fresh frozen mussel meat remains in acceptable condition for 40 weeks.

Canned mussels: Mussel meat renders well for canning in oil, brine or sauces. Whole live mussels after depuration are either heated in open vats or steamed in autoclave until the meat becomes firm enough to render shucking easy. The shucked meat is washed well and blanched in 5% brine for 5 min. Blanched meat is filled in cans, the medium added, exhausted, seamed and heat-processed in steam at 115oC for 20 min.

Smoked mussels: Smoking improves the flavour and succulence of the product. The meat from depurated mussels is blanched for 5 min in 5% boiling brine. This is dried to a moisture level of 40-45%. The dried meat is smoked at 80-90°C for 30 min and further dried to a moisture level of 10%. At this moisture level the shelf life is above 6 months.

Dried mussels: The meat from depurated mussels is blanched for 5 min in 5% boiling brine and then dried in sun or in artificial dryer until the moisture content is 10-15%. The dried meat has shelf life up to 6 months at room temperature.

Marinated mussels:  This process is ideal for preserving mussel meat for 2-3 months. After depuration the shucked mussel meat is blanched in 3% brine for 5 min. Then it is cooked and packed in glass jars with a solution containing 3% salt and 3% acetic acid.

Other products: The CIFT has developed mussel pickle and mussel chutney powder with P. viridis meat.

Byproducts

The mussel shell is used as a liming agent in coconut plantations. Mussel shell gives good quality lime, which finds application in many industries.

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